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Dutch Coffee Colony Co.

Location: Singapore

Founder(s): Suhaimie Sukiman, Meidia Tamboto

Inspired by the Dutch’s contribution to the history of coffee, Dutch Colony Coffee Co. was established to bring the best bean-to-cup experience. Their focus on quality and the holistic experience forms the fundamental core value of all that we do: From the bean they source, right down to the cup they serve. To achieve higher quality control in their production as well as enhance their services to their expanding clientele, a state-of-the art roasting facility was launched in 2014. This facility serves as our headquarters that houses the support team, roastery, and academy/training lab.

Dutch Coffee Colony Co.

Getting to know Suhaimie Sukiman - Director of Coffee of Dutch Coffee Colony Co..

What's the story behind Dutch Colony and how did it all start?

The story behind Dutch Colony is inspired by the Dutch’s contribution to the history of coffee. Dutch Colony Coffee Co. was established in 2013 to bring the best bean-to-cup experience, with its first retail store at 'Pasarbella', a rustic and open farmers' market in Singapore. This space removed barriers, sparking passionate conversations and enabling the sharing of coffee knowledge and personal coffee experiences. Although this retail store ceased operations in February 2018 after an amazing five years, it provided a solid foundation for the company to continue creating spaces that connect coffee and people. Today, we have six retail outlets, a coffee roastery, and a barista academy.

Can you share more about Dutch Colony's approach to sourcing and roasting coffee?

We believe in relationship coffee! The same Colombian producer we started working with in 2013 is still the primary supplier of our Colombian green beans year after year. Whether sourcing through green sourcing partners or directly from farms, we prioritize relationships, as they define the quality we receive and provide a platform for two-way feedback and communication, allowing us to improve bean quality annually.

All the coffees we purchase score a minimum of 85 points. We do not limit ourselves by origin or processing methods because every customer has different preferences, and we want to ensure there's always something special for everyone. We proudly roast all our coffee on a 35kg Loring, which uses hot air technology to recirculate hot air through a static drum. This promotes energy efficiency, enhances sweetness, and achieves optimal Maillard development while keeping colour development light.

We also keep our roasting team small; two of our three roasters have been with us since day one. This consistency ensures an excellent understanding of expectations and maintains high-quality standards.

What motivated Dutch Colony to explore the capsule coffee format?

We are passionate about coffee and believe that evolving our products is necessary to stay relevant. Although it took us longer to join the capsule market, we did so when we found the right partner with a system capable of preserving the same quality of bean-to-cup experience in a capsule format.

Additionally, as consumer demand for capsules grew, we were further convinced to explore this option. The introduction of the Morning capsule machine, which allows control of parameters that define flavours, solidified our decision. We recognised the potential to offer a high-quality, convenient coffee experience that meets our standards.

We all have our morning routines, and coffee is often a crucial part of it. What is your morning ritual like?

Coffee is a must-have for me, first thing in the morning, and I consistently top up throughout my 16 to 18-hour day. I start early, and with three school-going kids that need to be sent to school, I always have my first shot of the day around 7am using the Morning Machine, enjoying either our own Vol.1 capsule or a random pick from the Morning Marketplace. Two hours later, at 9am, when I am in the roastery or one of our cafés, I enjoy a single-origin espresso and a flat white. After lunch, I typically have a filter brew, followed by another serving of filter coffee and/or a flat white around 4pm.

What are you most excited about right now and for the future of Dutch Colony as a brand/business?

While we are now 11 years old, coming up on 12, the daily vibrancy and the busy nature of various departments always keep me on my toes. It never feels like it's time to rest and reap what we've sown; instead, every day is an ongoing journey towards an infinite destination. Dutch Colony is growing as I type this: the number of stores, our ever-growing family of about 70 employees, and new wholesale accounts joining us. Seeing the roastery roasting more each day and opening up more production slots each week is a vindication that our business formula is working, and we are doing things correctly and consistently.

To remain sustainable and relevant, there is no formula aside from the willingness to learn, unlearn, and relearn, combined with a good dose of hard work. What keeps us excited is seeing how the brand has become a stepping stone for our team to grow as individual humans and coffee professionals, roasting even more delicious coffees and watching our export count grow by the pallet. As we step back and reflect on whether this is where we wanted to be 11 years ago, the answer is a resounding yes. We continue to do what is right so that this becomes a blessing for others.

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For 10 capsules