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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

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Amazing 7

Nylon Coffee Roasters

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This year, we decided to continue to work with charity: water as we believe there needs to be more work done all over the world where the lack of clean water results in continued poverty, inequality, diseases and death. In Singapore, we are blessed with the infrastructure to have ready access to clean water. To do our part, we celebrated Nylon’s 7th birthday with a specially-planned community market, and bringing in 7 old and new neighbours of Everton Park and friends to join in the charity fund raising event for charity: water. These included the legendary Ji Xiang Confectionery, hidden soya bean gem - Beano, our popular next-door neighbour - At the Myo, the one & only barber shop in Everton Park - Mister Moustache, as well as our new flowery neighbour - Blossoms by Rei. Our baker friends from J Cakes and Room for Desserts never fail to deliver, and provided a huge array of delicious bakes, making the event a resounding success.

It was extra meaningful for us to commemorate this special day with the community that we so love. It was great to see the owners of the businesses to take time out to pitch in with the sales and dropping by to soak in the party atmosphere. Over the 7 years, Everton Park has gone through a mini gentrification but thankfully, we feel its charm has not been lost as new and old businesses continue to co-exist in harmony. 

With the community effort, we managed to raise a total of S$7,491.65 on 1st May. Here is the detailed breakdown contributions from all those who participated.

At the Myo : S$200
Beano : S$124
Blossoms by Rei: S$214
Ji Xiang Confectionery: S$280
J Cakes & Room for Dessert: S$1768 
Mister Moustache: S$304
Nylon: S$2998
General donations: S$1603.65

We’re stoked by the results and truly touched by the generosity of those who came by and contributed. 100% of this amount will be used to fund water projects. Your donation will change lives simply by providing access to clean water. A heartfelt thank you from us. We’ll continue to make delicious coffees to express our gratitude.

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!

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...