If you’ve clicked into this story, we have an inkling that coffee is probably your crutch. Have you considered for once that the liquid that keeps you awake might not be #woke itself? That, is one of the propositions behind the Kickstarter project titled Morning Machine.
It still pumps out great coffee (it’s Nespresso® compatible and also comes with a built-in scale and pressure profiling as well as PID temperature controls) but offers one more solid idea.
It introduces one to Morning Marketplace: a curation of capsule by the world’s most celebrated specialty coffee roasters. And yes, it’s #WokeAF, Andre Chanco & Leon Foo (the founders) are making sure they are recyclables.
Here, the both of them take us through the inception, creation and positioning of Morning Marketplace.
Why the need for the Morning Marketplace?
Andre Chanco: The market demand for coffee capsules is expected to grow beyond USD 41 billion by 2021. Alongside a boom in artisanal coffee, we noticed that specialty coffee roasters are increasingly putting their coffees into capsules.
While roasters usually specialise in selling beans to cafes in a B2B format, capsules, which follows B2C retail model, are a very different market. It can be logistically challenging for coffee lovers to locate and purchase these elusive capsules.
Hence, we saw the opportunity to create the Morning Marketplace, to aggregate capsules by the world’s most celebrated roasters in one place.
Why work with capsules?
Leon Foo: Compared to whole bean coffee, capsules tend to travel better and have a much longer shelf life. Capsules also allow roasters to have control over parameters such as grind size and grammage to mitigate mis-brewed coffee. Working together with the Morning Machine, our partner roasters can set precise recipes and brew ratios as well.
Capsules however, have a notorious reputation for being environmentally unfriendly.
What is Morning Marketplace’s policy on sustainability then?
We agree that the issues surrounding the environmental footprint of coffee capsules need to be addressed. Some short-term actions we’re implementing now include:
1. Shaping how we curate capsules on the Morning Marketplace by shifting towards formats which are recyclable such as aluminium and compostable.
2. Providing Hong Kong and Singapore-based customers with information on how to recycle capsules and compost at home.
3. Retailing the UPRESS Coffee Recycler, a gadget that enables the easy separation of ground coffee from spent capsules.
As for the long term, we are looking to engage partners to create a recycling program for our customers, and are keeping an eye out for the next capsule format innovation that is more eco-friendly.
Where do you see Morning Machine in the next five years?
The vision for Morning Machine in the long term has always been to become the go-to brand for all things “home coffee brewing”. Whether it is to shop for the latest coffees and accessories or to learn how to make better coffee at home, Morning Marketplace should be the trusted brand or resource.
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PODcast is our new video series that is all about candid conversations over a cup of pod coffee. Randomness is the name of the game, but one thing that’s constant is that every episode will feature a coffee pod that our guest currently enjoys drinking. For the inaugural episode, Sierra speaks to Andre about what he enjoys about work and an imaginary vacation during the pandemic. Enjoy!
From a business perspective, we’d like to develop additional hardware or peripherals to complement the Morning Marketplace ecosystem as well as existing users and roasters.
And of course, the team will add more a lot more coffees and roasters to the curation available on the Morning Marketplace. We are also investigating the potential of collaborations with bigger lifestyle and hospitality brands as well as exploring brick-and-mortar retail distribution across the world.
The focus of the Morning Marketplace will be very much regional, while the Morning Machine will be available internationally.
Where does the future of the coffee industry look like to you? What are some emerging trends you’ve observed in the coffee landscape?
COVID-19 has reshaped the coffee industry. With more people now working from home, it is no wonder online coffee purchases and subscriptions for coffee have grown exponentially, the latter saw an increase in 109%. More cafes and roasters are also offering their coffees in “ready-to-drink” formats that can easily be picked up curb-side, delivered or even stored for longer periods of time.
Because of the changes in consumer behaviour, more roasters and cafes are encouraged to introduce more variety. We are seeing home coffee drinkers shifting their spending to better quality coffee or even trying new roasters or coffees.
Due to the nature of specialty coffee as a “luxury” good, the in-shop or retail experience is still very important.
We may see a reduction in brick and mortar storefronts, but the retail experience will continue to be supported with a strong online offering.
How do you start your morning then?
Andre Chanco: I start out the morning with an indoor cycling routine on weekdays and endurance runs on the weekends. After which, I brew coffee on the weekend for my wife and me, with a rotating set of coffee beans from various roasters around the world.
Leon Foo: I cycle around Singapore two to three times a week and am normally in-charge of the morning coffee for my family. Sometimes, I would ask my kids to pick the capsules from our collection for their parents and grandparents to enjoy.
Remember to catch up with the November 2020 issue of Men’s Folio Singapore.