Getting a quality caffeine fix
One of the main points when dealing with coffee beans is usually quality over quantity – what is good coffee truly worth? Do you, as a coffee consumer, purchase one truly quality cup of coffee from your local specialty barista shop, replete with typewriters and handcrafter wood table décor, or do you opt for 20 cups of machine made coffee?
Keyis Ng, co-founder of Cafebond.com, opts for the latter.
Within reason, of course.
For Keyis, “when you taste great coffee, you want more,” he says. With specialty coffee, Keyis believes it’s hard to go back once you’ve had a taste. After a trip to Melbourne, where Keyis and his co-founder Eugene had “one of the best cups of coffee in their lives”, recreating the taste was elusive. They found that shipping freshly roasted coffee would burn a serious hole in their pocket.
That is the problem Cafebond.com is attempting to solve. En masse.
Essentially, Cafebond.com is an e-marketplace for specialty coffee beans, but with a twist. They bring you freshly-roasted coffee beans directly from the world’s best roasters.
Since freshly roasted coffee has a very short shelf-life, and as previously stated, costs a lot to import; Cafebond.com’s solution is to import the freshly roasted beans from your specialty coffee roasters around the world, on a weekly basis.
Therein lies Cafebond.com’s main selling point – the “freshly-roasted” part. The best coffee is freshly-roasted, freshly-ground, and freshly-brewed. So Cafebond.com will take care of the first part. “We don’t keep stocks, we roast to order and fly them in weekly from our coffee roasters partners,” Keyis reminds us. If you place an order with them on Monday, you get it on Saturday.
Keyis’ ideal customers buy from multiple places, not just one brand. He wants to give them as quality and as varied of tastes as possible. Emphasis on the “quality”.
Melbourne has the lofty title of being the coffee capital of the world. It served as Cafebond.com’s idea birthplace but is also the source for 13 of their coffee roasters partners. Cafebond.com works with one roaster from Canberra, one from Taipei and three from KL.
What puts the dot com in Cafebond.com though, is it’s Ecommerce website, their true mainstay for sales. To truly represent some of the best roasteries in the world, Keyis’ business strategy is not just to sell in Singapore, but to make their business a nexus for Asia.
Neither does he want to compete with local roasteries. It’s his ultimate goal to get local brands to come onto Cafebond.com’s platform.
Keyis shared this story – a private Indonesian purchaser wants to buy a few specialty coffee brands. Said purchaser is a coffee maker by trade, but sourcing each individual brand would be a tiresome effort. 80 bags in total, from a varying number and origin of each, some in KL, many in Melbourne. Cafebond.com takes the order, processes the beans and ships them out within the week. That’s 80 bags of specialty coffee that has gone through Cafebond.com’s platform.
Keyis says that confining Cafebond.com to Singapore would never viable in the long run. Just beyond our borders lie the markets to really tap into for Keyis. “They [our neighbours] have buying power, consuming power, those markets,” Keyis says.
Almost 80% of their business comes from online sales – where foreign consumers and their coffee brands meet. “So our goal is to make freshly roasted speciality coffee available,” Keyis says – and he means available to literally everyone and anyone interested.
Keyis can only describe the specialty coffee landscape in Singapore as “growing… rapidly”.
He says “the coffee industry itself, it’s been 100s of years.”
The first instance of farming coffee is like 500 years old.”
“But the appreciation of truly high-quality coffee is recent, that’s within the last decade or so.”
Singapore, he believes, has been seeing a burgeoning coffee scene with “a lot of cafés who focus solely or mainly on the coffee quality itself,” Keyis says. “This, I feel, is a trend stemming from Australia, that slowly began to influence Singapore.” Keyis believes it was Starbucks that made the initial impact. “It gave people the idea to have coffee outside of home, outside of the office, outside of the day-to-day,” Keyis says.
With the advent of social media, consumers also want for better, demanding higher quality products.
So Cafebond.com’s place is really with the Internet-of-Things, both in meeting consumer tastes as well as meeting consumer’s ease of access in buying online.
Watch the full story below: