CMCR at Work: What's it all about?

Posted by Stella Cochrane on

It's 9am on a Monday morning, you have just reached the office with dreams of a lovely cup of steaming hot coffee to set you on the right path for the week. You go to the kitchen, open the cupboard and bam, someone forgot to put the coffee order in!

To help relieve this nightmarish situation we came up with CMCR at Work. A programme that uncomplicated the world of specialty coffee, bringing you a consistent, quality and delicious product straight to workplace. You don't have to take our word for it, we recently installed some small scale equipment in the offices of Eight Inc, check out what they had to say:

CMCR: So you guys have had CMCR coffee in your workplace for a month now, have you been using it?

Eight Inc: Of course, everyday! Whoever gets in the earliest (normally the same person to be honest!) brews up a batch, usually it's Yirg Zero cos that's his favourite.

cmcr at work batch brewer

CMCR: Do you think you've been drinking more coffee cos it's now on site?

Eight Inc: Definitely, we even converted two non coffee drinkers. The filters are so easy to drink - this was your plan all along wasn't it!?!

CMCR: What would you say to other workplaces that haven't tried CMCR yet?

Eight Inc: The batch brewer is a really easy piece of equipment to use, just takes a few minutes to set up in the morning and then you have great tasting coffee on hand all day long. It doesn't taste like American style filter coffee, much cleaner and fresher, and like I said, it even converted two non coffee drinkers!

cmcr at work

CMCR: What about espresso coffee?

Eight Inc: We have our own espresso machine so we just got the beans from CMCR Online and put them through it. Think you have a great selection and really gives us a kick in the morning when we need it!

CMCR: You mentioned using the CMCR online platform, how did you find ordering from here?

Eight Inc: It was great, really easy to use. Just signed up for an account with you and then could order straight away.

CMCR: Is there anything you would change?

Eight Inc: That we could have more coffee! Don't think its possible we could drink more though! One thing we didn't try was the blends subscription service, looks like a good scheme but we wanted to try the singles and filters this month.

CMCR: Last question, do you think you'd recommend us to other workplaces?

Eight Inc: Of course! it was simple to use and it makes sure we get amazing coffee every day!

cmcr at work

We couldn't have said it better ourselves! Great value specialty coffee with small scale equipment solutions and an easy to use e-commerce platform with direct delivery when you want it to your workplace. It's specialty made simple.

Interested? get in touch at using this form and one of the team will be in touch!

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Posted by Accounts Department on

Joefal Manlod, Roaster and Barista

When and where did you have your first coffee-piphany?

we back 2005, that time I was currently working part time in an events caterer. I remember the first time I entered the “Coffee Shop” I was so amazed by the captivating fragrance of coffee that covered entirely the whole shop. The captivating appearance of the brewing equipments as well as coffee tools really caught my attention. From there onwards I quickly found interest in coffee.

Who influenced/inspired you on your coffee journey?

 It’s more of curiosity at same time admiration to coffee, as that time its really a big deal if you enter or work in a coffee shop. My desire grows tremendously because of my Manager whom guided and groomed me. provided me all the coffee related materials to enhanced my knowledge to coffee. She is also the one who introduced me to Coffee competition from where I honed my skills exponentially.

Best ever coffee?

It is quite hard to answer this though, as every coffee behaves differently. Coffees offers an array of flavours some are fruity, floral, chocolatey, nutty and some are just mind blowing. it is still boils down to preference, your mood, the stories and the hands who prepares it, importantly the experience you had when you drink that cuppa.

Describe the perfect setting to enjoy a coffee?

Coffee is my companion in life. Through my saddest moments and downfalls or be with my Family and love ones that’s the perfect setting for a cuppa.

What's your relationship with Coffee?

My past, present, future and my legacy imprinted on coffee.

What has coffee taught you? 

To seek adventure. to be more appreciative and humble in everything. and importantly a mindset of a WINNER. A MADMAN WINNER

What opportunities has coffee given you?

Everything. Trips and travels. meet up interesting culture and people and become a much better person than before. Widen my network of friends.

At what point did you know that you were meant to roast coffee for a living?

That moment I officially managed to “On” the roasting machine, my heart starts to beat faster and faster that produces so much energy, energy that gives me so much determination and hit that “Delta Point” of becoming a professional coffee roaster.

Who has been the biggest inspiration or mentor for you in your coffee life? 

My wife :) which is my mentor at same time my hard critic (I like being challenged). 

What are some of the trends have you observed in coffee roasting over the years? 

am still in an infant stage of being a roaster but what I observed is that a lot of young roaster tend to focus their attention base on the information that was heard or read be it online or in books.

What would you like to see happen in the coffee industry over the next ten years? 

Further improve and develop the coffee farming technique and methods to produce high quality crop.

What advice would you give new roasters who are just starting out their careers in coffee? 

Give justice to the coffee and people who work hard for it.

Is roasting coffee an art or a science? 

It is a combination of both. You need to respect every detail and character of the coffee while understand the cause and effect in every little adjustment you make in perfecting your roast profile. By doing so am giving justice not just to the coffee but also the people involve in it.

When you're getting to know a new coffee, how do you decide how to roast it? Do you have a default roast profile?

I normally gathers the information of the coffee first like the origin, the processing methods, moisture content, if it’s hard or soft bean, screen size and the overall physical structure of the bean. 

How does roasting coffee change depending on the origin, process, or variety? 

Every bean behaves differently therefore by knowing all those information I would be able to plan my roasting  approach that would highlight the true nature or character of the bean.

What's your favorite part of roasting coffee? 

I like the planning stage of my roast profile or the approach that I would like to do for the bean. You plan and predict what will happen and when the moment you drop or charge out the roasted coffee and see that it goes the way you wanted that is where rewarding part.

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Taste Of The Big MAC 2017

Posted by Sarah Rouse on


Malaysian Aeropress Championship 2017! 

Common Man Coffee Roasters have been proud hosts of the AeroPress Championships in Singapore for the last 4 years. This year we had the opportunity to host this exciting industry night in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the first time!

36 individuals were randomly picked from a lucky draw of a whopping 130 registrants. On the eve of 20th September, the contenders gathered in CMCR KL, TTDI. The brewers brought their A-game and hungry eyes for the grand prize of competing at WAC 2017 in Seoul, Korea.
To practice, competitors were given 40 minutes and 250gm of the official competition coffee, Kenya Muthigi-ini Rwama. The championship kicked off before Sundown, each heat in the preliminaries had 4 contestants present their brews.
Getting on stage can be daunting, so we took extra measures to ensure brewers, entourage, and guests were arms reach from an icy cold craft beer or a juicy burger. Some rather channel that energy differently, no better way than smashing it out at table tennis or an elegant game of beer pong.
Competitors brought equipment of all shapes, styles and sizes. There were various grinders, sifters, kettles, vessels, EKs in every colour, we’ve seen it all. Brewers could also bring their own water, sampled by a moderator to ensure there weren’t any ‘secret ingredients’.
The competition was graced by the presence of 4 distinguished judges with different backgrounds. The panel rocked through the night tasting an onslaught of brews to identify our winner. They were:
  • Regine Wai (Page 2 Café)
  • Ving Lim (The Roast Things)
  • Tristan Creswick (Cloud Catcher Asia)
  • Head Judge – Alif Badri (Roys Et Zous)
In CMCR tradition, we love a good half-time game. Previous years we’ve introduced games such as “Blind Press” and “Head Press”, we went a whole new level and hosted the world’s first “Tiny Press”.
The night was ready to end here, but we still needed a Malaysian AeroPress champion to fly to Korea. Returning into semifinals and now competing in sets of threes, the brews were getting tasty. We eventually had our finalists to fight for the spot in WAC 2017.
With special thanks to our competitors, judges, prize sponsors Acaia and Kruve, and of course the guests for making MAC 2017 a great night full of action and fun, we present our winner and Top 3 of the finals!
1st Place – Hui Zhen Tan (The Replacement Lodge & Kitchen)
2nd Place – Than Took Fhoo (Yellow Brick Road)
3rd Place – Junior Lee (Home Brewer)
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Supporting Ethical Coffee

Posted by Stella Cochrane on

As champions of specialty coffee we hold traceability and fair buying practices at the heart of our business; but how can you be sure that you're buying a coffee that doesn't exploit the people who grew it? The good news is that it is actually very easy nowadays to support the farmer who has laboured for so many hours to grow and process your coffee.

It's first important to know that there is an enormous difference between the coffee industry as a whole and the specialty coffee sector. For a long time the coffee industry has been overwhelmingly dominated by large, multinational companies which supply cheap, generic products in vast quantities.

Specialty coffee roasters make up an incredibly small percentage of the industry and are closely involved in the entire coffee cycle — from farming, to processing and roasting.

Most of the ethical concerns in today’s coffee industry occur with poor quality Arabica coffee (i.e. Arabica which is grown at low altitudes and poorly processed) and the majority of world’s Robusta production. This low cost coffee predominantly ends up in jars of instant coffee. Many of the large companies that use this coffee don’t purchase based on quality, their most important factor is price — as low as possible. Multinational coffee companies buy in extremely large quantities, so it’s easy for them to get what they want. It’s this type of coffee, grown as cheaply as possible, that leads to unethical practices.

The farmers growing this coffee will try to obtain cheap labour — often exploiting children and other workers on their plantations. These farmers clear all native trees in order to grow as many coffee trees as possible, and use the cheapest synthetic pesticides and herbicides. This is a good reason to avoid cheap, supermarket coffee — not only does it taste bad but the farmers get a really bad deal.

The past ten or so years have seen the emergence of a growing number of specialty coffee roasters, who have worked tirelessly to raise industry standards and to improve the public’s understanding of what’s involved in getting coffee from the farm to the cup.

It’s encouraging to see a growing number of people thinking about the ethics behind what they’re drinking. With the advent of programmes such as Fairtrade and Direct Trade and increasing education, it’s becoming much easier to choose coffee that has been ethically grown and processed.

The Fairtrade certification is something that is commonly known amongst consumers nowadays. It guarantees that a fair price is paid to the farmer and provided that the farmer hasn’t exploited anyone during the growth and processing of the coffee, a minimum price per kilo is paid, with an additional premium paid for organic coffee.

It’s important to note that just because Fairtrade guarantees a fair price has been paid for your coffee, this doesn’t then mean that all other coffee is unethical. Actually, the best way to buy coffee is to buy based on quality. High grade, best quality Arabica coffee is almost always grown ethically, to attract a higher price.


CMCR, with it’s partner Five Senses Australia, operates at the specialty coffee market level opting for direct trade with farmers in India and Sumatra and trusted importers such as Cafe Imports and Kaffe Coffee to bring in beans from Africa or Brazil where the market is so large it makes it difficult for us to trade directly with farmers. 

These companies hold the same values as us to treat producers honestly, ethically and respectfully whilst also decreasing the negative environmental impact of coffee production and share our passion for delicious coffee.

Here we have roasters and farmers working together to improve the quality of the coffee which in turn attracts a premium price. Everyone wins, with farmers receiving prices that are well above the Fairtrade minimum price and roasters receiving high grade beans. The farmers also learn how to continue to produce a high quality product that people will continue to buy, thus breaking the poverty cycle that many farmers face.

‘Direct trade’ has become a buzz word in the coffee industry, so make sure that anything claiming to be ‘direct trade’ actually is. Do the roasters visit farmers and provide education, equipment and other support? An increasing number of cafes and roasters provide information on the farms where their coffees are grown. Look at the farming practices, the provisions for workers, whether the cherries are picked by hand, and whether native trees remain to provide shade.

High quality coffees are almost always picked by hand. This is a laborious process, as cherries don’t ripen at the same pace, and pickers must return to each tree several times over harvest. Not only does hand picking mean higher quality coffee, but most coffee farmers would consider it terribly unethical to purchase an expensive piece of machinery that would take the jobs of dozens of local workers.

The best coffee is grown in shade. While farmers selling low quality coffee will clear native trees in order to grow as many coffee plants as they can, farmers growing high quality coffee keep the native trees in place to provide shade for their coffee trees, which encourages a slower maturation of the cherries, leading to a more complex flavour — and again, a higher price.

What about coffee that is not Fairtrade or Direct Trade, and coffee that doesn’t come with any certification? How can you be sure that you’re supporting ethical farming practices and a fair return to the growers? Again, the key is in the quality. Farmers growing high quality coffee will almost always be operating ethically. Look at the company roasting the coffee. What are their ethics, are they supporting the push towards higher quality products, assisting and educating farmers? Specialty coffee roasters are all about paying a generous price for high quality coffee, grown in the best conditions, by people who are treated fairly.

At Common Man Coffee Roasters, we are committed to promoting ethical farming and processing practices. We do this by fostering relationships with the people who grow our coffee and supporting them with education and equipment. We travel to coffee growing regions all over the world to check out the conditions on the farms we purchase from. We strive to educate our customers about coffee, and provide information to our cafes, the cafes we supply and customers at home about the farms and conditions our coffee is grown in. We are grateful for your support and trust you’ll continue to help us raise the standards of the coffee industry.

You can read more about CMCR's commitment to traceability and the ways we support our local community on our CSR page.

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CMCR x Singapore Coffee Festival Wrap Up: Our Top 5!

Posted by Sarah Rouse on

1. 2017 Singapore Aeropress Championship
Some may say it was bold (and perhaps a little stressful) to decide to take the 2017 Singapore Aeropress Championship on the road with us to SCF.
However the effort and coordination was well rewarded with an awesome event and a stunning seaside backdrop. Congrats again to our Champ Jerald Teng from Nook and Cranny and our runner-ups, Christian Alvarez and Jia Hao Koh.
Shoutout to our awesome judges, Marian, Terrance, Siraj and Lisa as well as the crowd who turned out to support the brew-down!
2. Filter Flights
Yet another bold (read- hard work involved) decision we made was to run a cracking filter flight bar at our booth. We estimate we did around 200 seatings at our filter bar – that’s around 800 flights!
It was a fantastic way for us to share some info about the beautiful coffees we were brewing, as well as specialty in general.
If you enjoyed your time at the bar and learning a little more about coffee, our trainers would love to see you again for an Academy Class you can book yourself in here
3. Geisha Coffee
Whilst a certain pink flamingo cup-holder may have taken out the spot of most Instagram-ed item at the festival; we think that our stunning Geisha cans made it in to the top ten!
The best part- what’s on the inside is even better! We will soon be taking pre-orders for another batch of Luito and El Burro, so don’t miss out!
4. Our Uncommon Wall
So we’ve listed bold, bolder, and now we come to what was our boldest (ok foolish) decision, which was to create a wall entirely out of empty milk cartons.
We just couldn’t get on board with how unsustainable it would be to build a wall which after 4 days would then be torn down and thrown away, so we spent 2 weeks gluing milk cartons together, not knowing whether it would end in success or mess!
But Voila, the recycling gods smiled upon us, and the wall stayed intact!
5. Our Serious Stuff Section
We have to admit, we felt pretty legit with our “serious stuff” section, we brought the whole show of our fantastic brewing equipment and gadgets that we can hook your café/office/home up with. Remember, if you want to talk wholesale – beans or gear, get in touch at
There we have it, our top 5 from SCF 2017, we hope we featured amongst your highlights!
Last but not least a special mention to the salted caramel latte tarts our kitchen team created for the event (#newfave) and to all the extreme CMCR team - work that made the dream - work!
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