Cafe Malaysia, CMCR's competitors and love for the Leva!

Posted by Joshua Liew on

Getting up close and personal with different parts of the specialty coffee industry in the Asia region is always an enjoyable, enlightening experience. This, our third year participating at Café Malaysia in Matrade Convention Centre, KL, was no exception, with plenty of new toys, intense competition and great brewing to keep us occupied.

Whilst this time we didn’t have a booth as exhibitors, we channeled our coffee energy towards meeting other amazing people of industry.  The coffee community in Malaysia showcases a distinct vision for unconditional quality and execution in green sourcing, roasting, and brewing. Needless to say, there was spectacular coffee to drink.


We took the opportunity to observe the national coffee competitions. We had a couple of our in-house celebrities compete, Larry Lam (Head Barista, CMCR KL) for the Malaysia Barista Championship (MBC) and Jeffrey Tan (Head Barista, 40Hands KL) in the Latte Art Championship (MLAC). Naturally we wanted to show all our support! Many seasoned and talented competitors were bringing great performances to the stage for each category, considering Malaysia has ranked 7th in the World Barista Championship 2017 and 10th in World Latte Art Championship, you can have a feel of the immense standard of competition on a national level.


The Champs
A big congratulation to all the baristas in their respective categories that displayed excellent showmanship and skill on stage. We wish you the best of luck on the world stage!

Keith Koay – Malaysian Barista Champion
Irvine Kuek – Malaysian Latte Art Champion

Regine Wai – Malaysian Brewers Cup Champion (one of our AeroPress judges last year!)

Our Common Competitors
We’re feeling super proud of our guys and their efforts, Jeffrey ranked in the Top 6 for MLAC and Larry ranked as a semi-finalist in MBC. Competing provides different perspectives to approaching coffee and how we apply it in cafes. Here’s what they both brought to their respective categories:





If you’re in CMCR KL (or the near future 40 Hands KL), be sure to ask Jeffrey if you’re keen to see his pours in action or Larry for his coffee while it’s still on hand! He’ll be low-key serving this coffee off-menu at the CMCR KL outlet, so be sure to come by, ask, and try!



On the last day of the show, Josh and I had a takeover session on the latest Leva espresso machine at the La Marzocco, True Artisan Café booth. Not just a good-looking machine, it was also the 30th unit out of a total 90 units around the world. With that said, we wanted to share some espresso loving with one of our newest limited release Kenyans, Wamuguma AB. New coffee on a new machine seemed appropriate.



The Leva is an eclectic mix of old and new, the feel of a lever will be nostalgic to the experienced baristas and takes some time to become fluent. You’re allowed to choose the amount of brew water for your espresso and adjust a pre infusion. Once all the water has been dispensed, the shot will automatically stop and a “pressure profile guide” is reflected on a screen for you to save and follow in future espressos.


That was our Café Malaysia in a nutshell, a great start to the year!

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A Comp with Seoul...

Posted by Stella Cochrane on

Last month a few of the CMCR team packed their suitcases, jumped on the first flight to Seoul and headed over to the Café Show 2017 to find out what’s brewing in the Specialty Coffee world, as well as cheer on our national coffee heroes in the World AeroPress and World Barista Champs. Here’s a little run down of their top five and some words from both the Singapore and Malaysia AeroPress National Champs, on their experiences of competition on the national stage.

Number 5 – Coffee & Café Culture in Seoul/South Korea

The coffee culture, expectations and drinking habits in Seoul, and if we can be so bold, South Korea in general are quite different from Singapore, and perhaps from the rest of the world. Whilst corporate giants may have received a warm welcome, it’s the design-forward specialty coffee roasters that are really making the noise here.

Of all the cafes we visited on this trip our favourites followed the roastery, bakery, bar and retail space model – bringing a unique yet homely vibe to our drinking experience. Our faves where – Fritz, Mr Holms, Momos Café, Coffee Loves Him, Centre Coffee and Onions.We may also have eaten our body weigh in pastries…every day, been hitting the treadmill pretty hard since we got back to make up for this trip!

 Number 4 – Korean Food

Ok so not strictly coffee related but we couldn’t talk about our trip without mentioning the food!! Street food is a big part of Korean life – how sad would life be without an Eomuk Fish Cake stick? Or a steaming pot of topoki? And no trip to Korea would be complete without a plate of Korean Fried Chicken washed down with HITE. We could go on but it would make you too hungry…



Number 3 – New Gear & Beans

There was a great turn out to this year’s expo, with many local and international brands putting on such a good show with exciting booths and the launch of new products.

***Coffee geek moment alert*** we got to touch the Nuova Simonelli Mythos 2, La Marzocco LEVA machine (those levers!), the BKON Craft brewer and what really got us going, the Giesen W140A Roaster. This bad boy is able to roast 140kgs per batch – what a whopper! It was also a great to see Specialty Coffee in action with so many producers and farmers from different regions here to promote their green beans.










One of our particular favourites was the Panama booth where we met one of the Lamastus Family who produced our delicious El Burro and Luito Geisha beans. Get some before it’s all gone, we’re nearly down to the last bag. 

Number 2 – World Barista Champs

One of the main highlights of the expo was the World Barista Championships. Over 60 National Barista champs from around the world battled it out, pouring their way to the coveted title. After a nail biting competition, Dale Harris of Hasbean Coffee, UK was crowned king.

It was a great atmosphere and the guys from Ediya Coffee put on a great show, as did the MCs who made the event thrilling and full of excitement. It wasn’t Singapore’s year unfortunately, but there is always next! 

Number 1 – World AeroPress Champs

Two words…FREE BEER! But really, it was amazing to see the nations come together over coffee – as cliché as that sounds! It was a tight battle, with our local talents Hui Zhen Tan (Malaysian Champ) and Jerald Teng (Singapore Champ) putting up a good fight, but ultimately it was the Brits’ night with a wildcard entry for Paulina Miczka who pressed her way to gold. Loved the jumper Paulina!

And, that’s our wrap-up. We brought back many memories, widened stomachs and suitcases stuffed full amazing coffee which we’ll be drinking for weeks – Seoul you did a great job!

We’ll leave the last words to the two AreoPress Champs we took on the road with us, as they tell us what their biggest learning was from the whole experience:

Hui Zhen Tan: If there's one thing to take away from the experience, it is definitely that success does not come without hard work. I wished that I had practiced more before the competition! However, I can say with confidence that this competition is one of the best things that's ever happened in 2017. I’m a relatively inexperienced barista but I was encouraged to take the leap of faith and take part in the Nationals for Malaysia; it has made me realise that you should believe in yourself and don't be afraid to do things out of your comfort zone :D  

Jerald Teng: The biggest learning I’ve taken away from this experience is to see how I’ve grown as a coffee maker, it’s a real eye opening for me.

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From the Ground Up

Posted by Stella Cochrane on

grounded by cmcr
Discover something new happening upstairs at Grounded by CMCR.
Get involved with our new series of workshops hosted by local Singapore artists, designers and businesses. All workshops are inclusive of a welcome drink with snack and then enjoy 20% off the regular menu at Grounded by CMCR!
floweret everyday flowers

Everyday Flowers            by The Assembly Hall

Saturday 4th November, 9.30am - 11.30am

To book click here

In this fun workshop hosted by Kate Gallagher (Floweret Co) you'll learn tips and tricks of flower buying in Singapore; including which flowers to buy, how to take care of them so they last and how to simply style them in a vase that you will take home with you. 
lucy and mui

Styling Your Jewels       by Lucy & Mui

Sunday 12th November, 10am - 1pm

Free to join, just turn up!

Fine jewellery designer Lucy & Mui will be holding a pop up store with their beautiful minimalist style incorporating precious stones in modern silhouettes. The team will be on hand to answer all your style questions and show you how to stack and layer your jewels.

hush candle

Soy Candle Making by Hush Candle

Saturday 18th November, 10.00am - 1pm

Fully booked but email directly for future dates!

Learn how to make your own personalised pressed flower candle from Singapore creators Hush Candle using natural soy wax and therapeutic essential oils. All products are 100% natural with no chemicals or synthetics. You will also get to make a floral hand-tie whilst your candle cures!
tinee dino

Character Design & Colouring by Tinee Dino

Saturday 25th November, 2pm - 3.30pm

Fully booked but DM on IG for future dates!

Join Singapore based illustrator and creator of Tinee Dino, Rachel, as she takes you through the basics of character design, storytelling and colouring. From finding inspiration to layering vibrant colours, this class will improve your drawing skills and awaken your imagination!

sensory workshop cmcr academy

Coffee Flavour Discovery by CMCR  Saturday 2nd December, 3pm - 4.30pm 

To book click here

Learn the basics of applying taste and olfactory skills to a coffee tasting in this fun and interactive workshop by the CMCR Academy. This is an abridged version of our Sensory Skills & Coffee Knowledge class offered in the Academy.
citizen farm

Making Coffee Grounds Fertiliser 

Saturday 9th December, 10am - 11.30am 

To book click here

Learn the basics of setting up an edible garden and how you can turn your used coffee grounds into fertiliser. In this session we'll discuss suitable things to grow in our climate, soil & pest control so you can start growing your own at home!
surprising treats by cmcr

Surprising Treats by CMCR

Saturday 16th December, 4pm - 5.30pm 

To book email

If you are a lover of all things sweet come join us for some eye opening treats that are decadent and healthy at the same time. All equipment and ingredients included and, the best part about it, you can eat what you make at the end of the class. Indulgence without the guilt!
Drinks and snacks provided for all classes and enjoy 20% off the main menu at Grounded by CMCR when you attend one of these workshops!
If you're not feeling crafty then why not just come along and see the workshops in action? there will also be pop up stores from The Tinee Dino, Hush Candle
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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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