Let's Talk: The Tiny Roaster

Let’s talk coffee today! During the weekends, our coffee machine is normally  OFF (unless situation calls for it). We are always screaming in silence for coffee to kick start the day. Since we are located at the West side (if you still do not know, we are located inside Ngee Ann Polytechnic), we will either go to Boyles (located at Bukit Timah Plaza) or The Tiny Roaster (located at Sunset Way) for a grab and go!

We first came to know about The Tiny Roaster, was probably back in early 2015 where they were first located at Clementi West Street 1. As the name reflects, the place was indeed a tiny roaster located at the ground level of a HDB. A simple black and woody layout, with shelving and equipment neatly displayed. If I could remember clearly, they were right next to a hair salon. They were dressed in smart, clean outfit- a white shirt, jeans material apron and to top it off, a grey cap.  The concept was refreshing. We enjoyed the quaint hospitality and ambiance.  We had a cup of iced latte then, and it was memorable. It wasn’t any simple ice latte. We literally had coffee in ice with a good shot of espresso and milk. It was a fantastic idea to prevent our latte from being diluted, and at the same time retain its flavour. And they still serve it today at their current outlet at Sunset way!

 Photo Credit: Jennifer Koh
Just recently, we have switched our beans. We are currently carrying Colombia beans from them. We’ve managed to catch up with the man behind the roasting, Byron Lim a month back. Earlier this year, we had gotten the opportunity to go through a cupping session with him. It was then, we witnessed his sheer enthusiasm in coffee. Over the months and the regular visits, his love for coffee is always evident in his beaming smile, patience and hard work. There is nothing better than to get him on-board to share with us about his experience and to tell us a little more about The Tiny Roaster founded by Alex and Tiffany.

1. Why did you choose to be in the line of coffee?
At first coffee was just a sustenance for me in school. Later on, I was introduced to specialty coffee through some friends that were home brewers and baristas, and I began to realise that coffee at Specialty coffee joints/roasters were just way better than the generic cafe. The Tiny Roaster was one of those places that really got me interested in specialty coffee, and I remember visiting the store back at Clementi West Street 1. The brews were so sweet and flavorful and it just blew my mind about what I knew about coffee. As I made coffee at home and begun experimenting with different beans and brew methods, I had so much joy learning about coffee and how much there was to explore. I also loved just sharing and making coffee for my friends whenever they came over to my place. Soon after, I began working at the Tiny Roaster where I learned even more and I got to share my passion with so many people. 

I just really love coffee, I love learning about it, and I simply love sharing about it with people. Working in coffee is a dream job, and I hope to carry on doing so.

2. How do you see coffee evolving?
In my opinion, the possibilities for specialty coffee are just endless. If we're looking at it at a global level, we can see companies and governments working to provide sustainability and better-quality coffee. Technology is getting more advanced, and people are finding ways to make coffee better. 5-6 years ago, for example, precision and accuracy in the brewing process was new in the scene. Now, it has become a standard practice for any serious coffee place. I do hope in the coming years, our customers will spend more time with us and the other great coffee establishments and see the dedication of everyone involved

In the local scene, I'm encouraged that customers are more aware and appreciative of specialty coffee than ever, and I really see the demand and awareness for better coffee improving. There is so much potential for where the industry can move to in terms of innovation and quality. It's really an open field, and we'll have to wait and see what might happen

3. Describe a coffee you are proud of and why?
Generally, I'm always glad and happy if I can produce a great tasting batch. I'm always trying to tweak my roast profiles to help coerce the flavours out of a coffee. If I can help make a coffee taste great and my customers like it, then that's what I'm proud of.

I'm currently roasting some Lot #10 from Finca Licho in Costa Rica, a microlot yellow honey processed coffee. I've always been a big fan of honey-processed coffees, and it's interesting because you get an in-between for Natural and Washed processed coffees. This coffee I felt was so complex with a lot of fruit and sugary-sweetness about it's flavour. In order to achieve what I felt was the most true and best tasting flavour profile of this coffee, I experimented with roasting a number of profiles of this coffee until I settled for one that I was happy with. It's not an easy coffee to work with, and I am glad whenever I produce a batch that tastes as great or better than my previous batch
4. What can we look forward to in 2018 with The Tiny Roaster?
We hope to bring in some great tasting coffees with some interesting stories, as we've always done. There is no shortage of amazing coffee out there, and we want to bring in some unique and great tasting coffees. Besides the coffee itself, we hope to continue to share what we do with more behind-the-scenes tours at our roastery, and more sessions and classes, or maybe some relaxed gathering events where we'll share and get together with our community

5. Where else can patrons try your coffee?
Our friends at The Glasshouse at CHIJMES occasionally feature our single origins on their brew bar. Just recently, they featured La Naranja from Peru, another great coffee that I've been roasting

Background of The Tiny Roaster
Roasting coffee has always been a passion for the founders Alex and Tiffany. Started in 2013, they started The Tiny Roaster as an online store where they sold their home roasted coffee online. They would also source and repackage large quantities of coffee into smaller quantities for other home roasters. The Tiny Roaster is all about supporting home brewing and home roasting, and we aspire to grow and support the home brewing/roasting community in Singapore. 

We opened our store on 31August 2014 in the humble neighborhood of Clementi West Street 1 with our Micro-roastery and Coffee Studio concept to introduce the local community to coffee through our classes, sessions, and of course day-to-day with our baristas serving coffees of various origins. In 2015, we moved to our current location at Sunset Way, where we continue to share our coffee

You can visit The Tiny Roaster at 
Sunset Way
106 Clementi Street 12, #01-62, 120106
Open Mon-Fri 12-6pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm

Before we leave this page, hang on a minute!

For those who have been enquiring about our first month gift box, they are currently available on our website over here. Full details are right there!

Till the next post! :)

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