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4 Everton Park #01-40
Singapore, 080004
Singapore

+65 6220 2330

A coffee bar and roastery driven by our beliefs to foster direct, transparent and sustainable relationships with our coffee producers, so as to help us to source, roast and brew some of the most amazing coffees from around the world, to the best we think they should taste and share them with you.

Journal

Be a Trash Hero

Nylon Coffee Roasters

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About 7 months ago, we made a decision to replace the usage of plastic straws for all iced coffees consumed in the shop. We had slight concern at the beginning as we were uncertain if our customers would be open to using metal straws for their iced coffees. After the past few months, we are thrilled by the positive response and thanks to our customers, our pledge to reduce plastic waste has been quite a success. The retail sale of the metal straws went through the roof and our supplier could hardly keep up with the demand. 

Besides reducing the plastic waste footprint, we have pledged the net proceeds from the retail sale of the metal straws up till 31 Aug 2018 to a charitable cause. We wanted to work with a non-profit organization that focuses on projects targeted at protecting our fragile environment. Through a referral, we found out about Trash Hero Singapore. It is a non-profit run by 2 dedicated volunteers. They organise beach clean-ups and educational activities to raise awareness of the harmful impact that trash has on the global environment. We feel education is key especially for the next generation. Hence we decided to utilise the amount raised from the net proceeds of the sale of metal straws in funding the printing and shipping of a beautiful story and activity book, the Trash Hero Kids Book.

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The book makes the connection between the issue of plastic leakage and the actions required in a thought-provoking and visually impactful way. The story follows the fictional character of “Trash Hero”, a child dedicated to helping sea creatures escape harm from trash, and his plight as the amount of plastic waste in the oceans increases. He appeals for help and receives it from a group of school children who promise to work together to save the oceans. It is an intentionally simple and “light” treatment of this serious subject, evocatively illustrated by Polish artist Ewelina Wajgert. The second part of the book contains some easily understood facts about marine litter, drawing and colouring activities and - most importantly - a challenge to become a new “Trash Hero”, through repetition of actions such as joining cleanups, recycling and saying no to single use plastic. Children will record their actions in the book and then, after gaining a certain number of points (assigned to each behaviour), will be able to claim their very own Trash Hero T-shirt as a reward. 

From the net proceeds of $1000.20 from the metal straws, we topped up the amount to S$1100 to fund the entire print production and shipping of the 500 books from Thailand to Singapore. These books are distributed free to children of our Trash Heroes volunteers. The goal is to spur their interest and encourage positive behaviour in reducing trash. We hope the book will reach out to more children through Thrash Hero Singapore. If you work in an educational body and would like to find out more about this book, you can contact Trash Hero Singapore at  mailto:singapore@trashhero.org. If you want to contribute your time to helping to clean up our beach fronts and waterways, head over to https://www.facebook.com/TrashHeroSingapore/ to check on their latest clean up activities.

Here’s a short video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uktglqD16Og) of the idea and inspiration behind the book. Thank you again to those who contributed to this meaningful project!

- Team Nylon

Photos: Copyright of Trash Hero.org

Loving a good tote

Nylon Coffee Roasters

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For those who have joined us for our past anniversaries would probably remember that we have retailed limited edition tote bags to commemorate our anniversaries on the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th year’s anniversaries. These bags were designed with different themes as we hit each milestone. As Nylon turned 6 in May this year, we felt it was timely to roll out a series of merchandise to reinforce the connection with our customers through accessories they can use everyday. We’d love to see Nylon being part of your daily routine. As part of our green initiatives, we had rolled out reusable metal straws and mugs. Now, we bring to you a new Nylon tote bag.

This bag incorporates a hand illustration done by our friend, May. The idea behind this illustration was to depict everything that revolves around Nylon and our community while incorporating our brand logo. If you look closely at the illustration, you will find intricate details of thing in our shop, from tools we use, to the equipment and furniture in our little space. Our dear customers will be able to relate to it easily as you have probably seen it many times during your visits. Every bit of this illustration is close to our hearts as this is what we do.

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We have spent a few months sourcing for the suitable material and printer for this tote bag. We wanted the whole product to be functional and durable. The first batch of printed bags were rejected as the quality of the print was not ideal, hence we waited another 2 months for the reprint. It had to be (almost) perfect. The wait is finally over, and we are so happy to share the end product with our customers. We hope it can become a useful accessory for our customers. Its size is great for grocery shopping and we can all reduce the need for plastic bags. Come by the shop now & have a look!

Updates to our fundraiser for Guatemala

Nylon Coffee Roasters


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10 days of fund-raising has come to an end and we are ecstatic that with the help from our our generous customers, we managed to raise a total of S$1,812.05 in cash donation. This is incredibly heart-warming and we are truly touched by your kindness and generosity. A special mention to our friends, Patricia & Ning, for pitching in $600 into the total amount. As part of this fundraising campaign for the Guatemalan chapter of Habitat for Humanity, we have also set aside $2 for every bag of coffee sold from 8 to 18 June. With a total of 401 bags of coffee sold over these 10 days, this works out to be S$802. Together with our initial US$200, we hit a grand total of US$2,122. This amazing result shows that the spirit of giving extends beyond borders and across miles & miles away. We are so proud of the Nylon community and our beloved customers.

On behalf of those who will be receiving your kind donation, a heartfelt THANK YOU!!!

#SupportGuatemala

One less plastic straw

Nylon Coffee Roasters


Ice coffees

When we first opened our doors to sell coffee beans 6 years back, we reused the plastic bags that held cartons of milk we bought from the supermarkets a day earlier. Over the years, we have resisted the urge to adopt what we consider as "unnecessary branding" that can result in more waste to our bins and landfills, eg. logo stickers for cups, customised bags for purchased items or printing of receipts on checkout. Thanks to our lovely friends and customers who have donated to us their excess and unused bags, we have managed to avoid thousands of packaging waste by reusing clean plastic and paper bags. Since day 1, we have always encouraged our customers to have their coffees in the shop rather than doing take-aways to help reduce that paper or plastic cup waste. We have been giving BYO discounts and encouraged our customers to adopt a tree (or start with a plant). These small actions have set the tone in how we have been running the business since the beginning - in a sustainable way that will leave as little footprint as possible.  

Plastic straws have been ubiquitous in most of our daily lives and you would be amazed by the sheer number that are disposed off, many of which end up in our drains, canals and eventually the oceans. It was a 8 minute video of the excruciating pain suffered by a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck up its nostrils that really made us sit up and decide that we have to do something. During the past 2 months, we have been experimenting with a bunch of plastic straw alternatives with our coffees to understand their impact on taste and the perception of our customers towards them. We have conducted trials using both metal and bamboo straws with our iced coffees and obtained feedback from some regular customers to ensure that the coffee experience is not in any way compromised. In the process, we actually felt that the enjoyment levels of our coffees might even increase with the use of the metal straw! Unfortunately we had to drop the option of using bamboo due to the taste compromise even though it was a much better option in terms of being a product sourced directly from nature. With the positive and encouraging feedback, we implemented a system to ensure that the metal straws can be cleaned properly in the same way as our cups. Maintaining our hygiene standards is also utmost important for us as we consider the alternative straw options.

Metal straws alternative

This weekend, we hope to do our part by actively replacing the plastic straws for all our ice coffees that are consumed in the shop with a metal straw alternative. As part of the change, our team will explain to you and seek your understanding to this change. For anyone who might not be comfortable with using the metal straws, we will still offer the plastic straws with your ice drinks but we do hope you might change your mind on your next visit. We estimate that we should be able to save a few hundreds of straws a month from this switch and prevent them from going into the landfills or worse, our oceans. Unfortunately for takeaway iced coffees, we will have to continue with the plastic straws unless you have your own or indicate otherwise. In the near future, we will start retailing the metal straws to further encourage others to contribute to this cause of reducing plastic waste. For those interested, stay tuned to our social media updates.

We have been blessed with a supportive community over the past 6 years who have made Nylon a part of their daily lives. We hope our love for the environment can be shared amongst more people. Calling out to our friends (One Man Coffee are also launching this initiative) from cafes and restaurants, join in this movement soon!

#onelessplasticstraw

Post competition thoughts

Nylon Coffee Roasters


It’s been more than 3 weeks after the national coffee competitions. After all the intensive training, late nights, endless roasting and adrenaline rush, life is almost back to normal and we are on the road now in a tiny town, called Ocotal, in the Nueva Segovia region of Nicaragua. As we slow down our pace, we reflect back on what we did this year for the Brewers Cup and how we could have done better and what did we achieve post comp. For those who did not have a chance to head down to MBS to catch the performance, we presented a topic this year on ‘Sustainability’. It’s a big word and encompasses many facets of what we do and how we live. When applied to coffee, our thoughts are tied to how we as coffee buyers, roasters, baristas can help to maintain sustainability in specialty coffee.

In the recent years, we have read that with climate change, growing coffee is getting a lot more challenging and less arable land is suitable for coffee production due to increasing temperatures. Coffee diseases are harder to control, threatening many producers and leading many to abandon their farms, or changing to grow other crops. At the same time, coffee competitions around the world have also put the spotlight on a few rock star coffee producers. These producers do an excellent job in growing high quality in some rarer varieties and invest in special processing methods to alter the cup profile. No doubt they are mainly microlots of Geishas grown in Panama or in a village within Ethiopia.

Looking at the trend of past champions in coffee competitions, one would think that to increase the chances of winning, one would probably have to compete with a Gesha variety from one of the famous producers. This would also mean one has to be prepared to pay a very high price to secure a small quantity of these micro or even nano lots. But does rarity and high prices definitely translate to high quality? The measure of quality can be quite subjective. The audience and people who read about these winning coffees might interpret that these rare and expensive represent the world of good specialty coffees. Unconsciously, we as an industry might end up creating a ‘bubble’ effect, inflating prices for these rare and exclusive coffees. To us, this is a risk as we end up encouraging producers to start growing certain varieties or place all their limited resources on these varieties despite their land is not suitable for growing them. Further, there is a potential risk that these varieties tend to be less disease-resistant. Actions as such make coffee farming less sustainable. Geshas can taste great if grown in the right climate, suitable terroir and processed well, but growing it indiscriminately might have detrimental effect in terms of cup quality and yield. It is also a concern when production is overly concentrated in certain varieties as less diversity in the genetic pool might lead to higher risk of widespread diseases that attack a certain variety.

Hence for the Brewers Cup, we were adamant that thou will not compete with a Gesha variety. This is not a demonstration of negativity against this variety but rather a message that we would like to bring across to many that we should not be blindly chasing after that rare and exclusive coffee variety, leading coffee producers to grow something which might not be sustainable for them in the long run. Some producers, especially the smaller ones tend to be more focused on short term gains, and looking at how crazy prices can be for Geshas, it will only drive them to plant more of this unconventional variety at the expense of something which might be more suitable for their land in the long run. 

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On the other hand, we are very happy that we managed to clinch 2nd place in the Brewers Cup competition. It was the fruit of the many hours of hard work of the team. We are even more thrilled that our barista Deborah chose an Ethiopian coffee, Kayo Natural, from our regular coffee offering, which she did amazingly well to get very high scores. We also roasted for our friend, Mervin, from One Man Coffee, using a Colombian Castillo variety from a very young producer, Hujo Trujillo, whom we visited last year. Mervin definitely charmed the judges on his way to a final 4th placing. These results have definitely encouraged us that we might be making some inroads to our goal. We are comforted knowing our message has reached some individuals, making them think more about the current state of specialty coffee. Are we, as part of the specialty coffee chain, doing our part in sustainability, or are we moving further away from it?

Coffee for thought...