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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

Colombia Best Cup 2018

Nylon Coffee Roasters

Photo credit: Cafe Imports

Photo credit: Cafe Imports

We have been avid supporters of the Best Cup events organised by Banexport and Cafe Imports. Andrew Miller, founder of Cafe Imports, together with Banexport, organised this coffee competition with the initial motivation of “quality discovery”. It was to show producers that high quality coffees will be recognised and rewarded accordingly with higher prices. This is a direct incentive for producers to continue coffee farming with focus on quality. It is also an opportunity for producers to meet the buyers and connect them together.

Our first experience of the Best Cup event was back in 2014 when it was first held in Cauca. Back then, the event was a lot cosier and much smaller in terms of scale. For those who’d like to read about that event, you can access through this link. The success of this first Best Cup led to the same competition being held in the Huila region in 2016 and 2017. Last year, it was the inaugural Colombia Best Cup competition with coffees from 4 regions - Cauca, Huila, Tolima and Nariño. The Banexport team cupped through samples from more than 500 producers. From the hundreds of samples, the top 30 coffees were selected and a group of international buyers/roasters gather for a few days to cup and score the 30 coffees. The top 15 will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. As part of this international panel, we had the opportunity to taste some amazing coffees from the 4 regions. After a few rounds of intensive cupping, the winning coffee of Colombia Best Cup went to Mr Jairo Quiñones. A relatively young producer, who has a 5 hectare farm in Pitalito, Huila. His coffee, a fully washed Colombian variety, scored an average of 90 points on the cupping table. Many cuppers commented the coffee tasted of sweet cherry, sparkling lemonade, orange blossom, peaches, coconut, raspberry, agave….& lots more… We scored this coffee 90 points and it was one of the cups that really catches your attention with its flavour complexity and sweetness.

The lot size of this winning lot was 6 bags. Bidding in an auction was adrenalin pumping. The locals went hysterical and kept cheering on for higher prices. It would have been a challenge for us to take on all 6 bags given the high price and the lot size. Fortunately, our good friend from Coffee Libre, who wasn’t able to attend this event approached us to co-bid for the winning lot. The bidding went crazy as it went past US$20/lb! Our hearts were beating and we were playing mind games to see how far each party would go to secure this winning lot. In the end, we kept on the bidding….. till we finally won the lot at US$27.50/lb! To put into context, this price is still far from what the famous Panama Geishas coffees might fetch, but for a small producer in Colombia, this is a really substantial amount that can have a real significant impact on their lives.

On top of the outstanding coffee that Jairo produces, it was important to support him by paying a premium to acknowledge his hard work and efforts for being a consistently good producer. Hopefully, this will help to motivate and incentivise other producers to strive for excellence. Jairo Quiñones has participated in previous Best Cup Huila and had always been in the list of finalists. Since 2014, we have noticed that there are hardly any repeat producers in the top 15 places of the regional competitions, except for Jairo Quinones. When we spoke to Banexport, they acknowledged the difficulties in keeping producers to continue their focus on quality year on year even if they get good results in the Best Cup. Some struggle to understand what led to inconsistencies in their harvest quality, some failed to take proper care in processing post harvest or some become complacent after getting good prices just once. With this in mind, we felt that Jairo really deserves it. As he came to terms with the price his coffee fetched from the bidding, he commented that he is even more motivated after this and will use the auction proceeds to invest in infrastructure to do an even better job for his future harvests. This is the spirit which we hope will spur on more small producers to come onboard.

After the auction, we split up the 6 bags amongst 3 roasters, with our friends, Elixr Coffee in Philadelphia wanting to showcase this top pick with their customers too. With only 48kg, this coffee will have a rather short run. We are thrilled and honoured to share this winning coffee here in Singapore. We highly recommend you to order this coffee online as it is likely there won’t be much available on our retail rack.

Footnote: As a general comparison, we pay between US$3 - US$4.00/lb (before freight costs and taxes) for most of our coffees from Colombia. For some special varieties or processing methods, prices range from US$4 - US$7/lb.

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