Singapore Coffee Collective: Promoting Specialty Coffee Culture

We are introduced to the Singapore Coffee Collective’s mission to inform and introduce customers to the specialty-coffee experience.

BY VASILEIA FANARIOTI

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Photos by Maximillian Wee

Singapore is an island country with a flourishing coffee culture that dates to the 18th century. There are plenty of places to enjoy an espresso in Singapore.

Inspirated by the international specialty-coffee scene A group of coffee lovers decided to create the Singapore Coffee Collective (SCC) in April 2022. The new initiative, which is not for profit, is focused on creating an integrated community of coffee lovers in Singapore and showing off the coffee scene in Singapore to the world. Not only the coffee but all those who is involved.

We spoke with the founder member Maximillian Wee about the inspiration behind the SCC as well as the coffee scene in Singapore and the future of the group.

The Singapore Coffee Collective is here to raise awareness on specialty culture.

Reprezenting Coffee in Singapore

Given the size of Singapore’s population and its GDP and the size of its coffee industry, Singapore’s market is expanding rapidly to keep up with the international market. However, roasters in the coffee industry are facing challenges to make a profit. Maximillian explains that for businesses to grow, they have to increase their sales by accessing the international market for consumers.

“The small size of the land results in a very crowded market” says Maximillian. “Because that, companies struggle to maintain a minimal percentage of the market, and roasters need to count on importers (instead of direct purchase) for their green beans. In a perfect world, roasters would at the very least get a fair portion of the pie, enough to be able to be able to deal directly with the producers they prefer.”

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The Singapore Coffee Collective aims to be at the leading edge when it comes to representing the coffee industry in Singapore and connecting local businesses to the required contacts to increase their reach to an international audience.

“At the same time, we’re in the business of providing an avenue for coffee drinkers prosumers, prosumers, content creators and industry professionals to interact. Our aim is to promote specialty coffee culture in Singapore by educating customers about the specifics of the supply chain for specialty coffee as well as facilitating open dialogue between coffee companies and their patrons,” Maximillian says.

An SCC cupping event with 2018 World Brewers Cup Champion Emi Fukahori.

Engagement with the Local Coffee Community

The first initiative of the SCC is the Coffee in Singapore Map, an effort that was a team effort that included contributions from the coffee-loving community in Singapore. Maximilian describes the project as one that incorporates technology and communities to produce a map of popular coffee places in Singapore.

“Contributors are able to suggest their top highly recommended coffee shops, along with brief descriptions,” says Maximilian. “The purpose is to provide easy-to-access information that will expose new coffee drinkers and visitors to the diverse world of coffee!”

Additionally the SCC has already begun to engage the community through various workshops and events such as the recent public cupping event with the 2018 World Brewers Cup Champion Emi Fukahori. The event was organized with the assistance of the Home Ground Coffee Roasters.

In the months ahead, you are likely to see more collaborations and events from the SCC since they are collaborating with a variety of coffee companies and other initiatives that aren’t related to coffee. “We’ll also be releasing an array of engaging content created by local coffee professionals and we’re hoping to receive a roaring response from the local community!” Maximilian says.

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Creating Awareness

Apart from organising events and serving as an avenue for coffee lovers The SCC hopes to tackle the issues coffee industry professionals in Singapore have to face due to the low salaries and the high cost of living.

The group aims to educate the public about the quality of coffee as well as the work that goes into every cup. In the end, the goal is that consumers will pay more for their favorite beverage to help keep coffee shops in business.

With the motto “for coffee drinkers by people who drink coffee” the Singapore Coffee Collective is getting off to a great start in achieving its goal of promoting specialty coffee culture as well as education in Singapore. If you’re planning to visit Singapore within the next few months, be sure you get an honest local’s view of the top coffee spots in the city.

About the Author

Vasileia Fanarioti (she/her) is a freelance copywriter and editor with a an emphasis on the coffee sector. She has also served as an aide-copywriter for the I’M NOT A BRISTA NPO. She has provided information to help people learn about baristas and the work they do. You can follow her adventures at thewanderingbean.net.

This article was first published at Barista Magazine, an online magazine dedicated to baristas and coffee professionals.