“Don’t use sugar and buy proper good coffee” + other coffee do’s and don’ts

Updated: Mar 25

I now have the second instalment of my coffee chats (check out the first one here), and I still don’t have a name for this category yet. Or maybe I shouldn’t have to think of one. 😁 It’ll come.

Now on to our quest to try more coffees…

Edward Samudro is the director of Café n All in Singapore, which offers La Marzocco espresso machines, Mazzer grinders and Ikawa roasters.

Cool, huh?

“Coffee has landed me in many countries making friends,” he says. “Coffee creates friendships.”

We agree. But hopefully those “friendships” include the ones with your barista and roaster – because they’re the ones responsible for creating your brews, after all. Edward encourages us to go ahead and tell them what we like, so that we get the coffee we love – and didn’t know we needed. Intrigued? Read on.


“There is no perfect cup of coffee. Instead, there are great cups of coffee”

Edward Samudro, director of Cafe n All, Singapore

Have a "great cup" today

Edward’s recommendations

• Single origin coffees from Brazil and Toraja

• Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

• Singapore coffee shops and services (some of them deliver – good to know as we stay at home): Alchemist, Nylon Coffee Roasters, Dutch Colony Coffee Co, Baristart Coffee, Glyph Supply Co, Maxx Coffee and Joe & Dough

Can you remember the first time you had coffee?

Edward: “It was 2010, for specialty coffee – West Java Origin coffee.

“The coffee tasted like chocolate milk, not bitter at all. It was an experience and much different than what I was used to drinking.”

How did your love for coffee develop since then?

“Since I now understand that coffee has many different flavours, I have started exploring their many different origins (the locations where the coffee is grown).

“Some beans’ tasting notes are very prominent, such as Colombia, Brazil and Toraja. I like Arabica the most because of its low acidity.

“Espresso is my preferred choice of coffee.”

What's yours?

Is there a hidden coffee gem that you wish people knew about?

“Difficult to say – everyone has their own personal ‘gem’. My personal favourites are roasters that roast their coffee up to a medium roast. Most of our clients are in the specialty coffee business, and each business is unique in the way they manage their café.”

What gadgets or accessories have you bought so far because of your love for coffee?

“The Ikawa Sample Roaster. This gadget has allowed me to roast my beans based on my preference. Most of all, it has helped me to understand the complex world of roasting, particularly the difficulties of a roaster and how challenging it is to produce roasts that are consistent.”

What are your must-haves to create and enjoy the perfect cup?

“Understanding your own preference. By understanding your preference, you can let the barista know the type of coffee you like. There is no perfect cup of coffee. Instead, there are great cups of coffee.”

What are your coffee do’s and don’ts?

“To baristas: Coffee plants take one year to bear fruit; it takes three days to process (depending on the process type), 12 to 15 minutes to roast, and only 30 seconds to make good or bad espresso. So learn and understand the way you make coffee.

“To drinkers: Talk to your barista so they can understand your preference. Learn about coffee. It is the number one beverage in the world. P.S. There is no such thing as an iced cappuccino.”

Which coffees will we find in your kitchen or pantry?

“Single origin coffees from Brazil and Toraja. Their beans are simple and nutty tasting, which make them a versatile choice of bean. They’re easy to make and relatively difficult to brew wrong.”

Where will we most likely find you sipping your favourite coffee?

“I love talking to roasters to understand their view of current events related to coffee. There are many coffee shops I enjoy – Alchemist, Nylon, Dutch Colony, Baristart, Glyph and Maxx Coffee for retail. I should visit Joe & Dough for their croissants!”

Hang out at Baristart

Can you share your top coffee tip?

“When you have your coffee, don’t just gulp it down. Try to taste and enjoy it!”

Is there such a thing as an underrated coffee?

“I don’t categorise coffee as overrated or understated. People just need to drink proper coffee.

“The popularity of sweetened coffee drinks results in coffee roasters selling lower quality coffee to meet the high demand. Sweetened coffee beverages are very often made from low quality coffee, which have lowered the perceived value of coffee.”

What's the most unique coffee you've ever had?

“In 2011, I went to a Specialty Coffee Association Conference in Seattle and tried my first Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, brewed using the V60 manual brewing method. It’s so good that you can taste the distinct blueberry undertone in the coffee.”

Is there a coffee tradition, custom or habit that you wish to see more of?

“Drinking proper coffee even while on a coffee break. Coffee with sugar is not healthy due to the amount of sugar being put in it. Sugar also kills the taste of any good beverage, not just coffee. Therefore, don’t use sugar and buy proper good coffee. Buying coffee beans from a proper roaster and brewing it at the office or at home helps to save money. Also, ask the roaster how to properly brew their coffee!”

Take your time

In what ways have you seen coffee make a difference?

“In most shops and restaurants, the owners are looking at how coffee can be a significant part of their beverage menu. F&B management understands that having a good cup of coffee will bring customers in, especially during breakfast time. No one comes to a café or restaurant because they have good orange juice. On the other hand, people will come for a good cup of coffee.”

No one comes to a café or restaurant because they have good orange juice. On the other hand, people will come for a good cup of coffee.

Which coffee are you dying to try next?

“Coffee from Yunnan, China. I’ve been hearing good things about the area.”

Now you have more coffees to choose from and try while you stay productive at home. 🙂

Till the next coffee chat…

For more information on Café n All, click here. Photos courtesy of Café n All.