Let me introduce myself. I’m Ramesh and am the Co-Founder of Auresso Coffee Sdn Bhd. Me and my partner established Auresso in late 2011. The intention is to serve Malaysian market with specialty coffee and other premium beverage products. This includes espresso blends from specialty arabica coffee beans, organic teas, drinking chocolate powder, pure uji matcha powder, premium houjicha powder, chai latte powder and coffee cascara.
Our journey towards specialty coffee in Malaysia started when we first bought a domestic espresso machine. We pulled an espresso shot using grounded espresso blend coffee from a supermarket. It was ok but we always wonder why it wasn’t spectacular. After undergoing barista trainings at a café in Australia, we soon realized our passion for Arabica. We were eager to learn more. Many different permutations decide the end result of a brewed cup of coffee. First and foremost the freshness of roasted specialty Arabica coffee beans. Read on to find out how we evolved from drinking commercial coffee to starting a business in specialty coffee industry.
Auresso was born to bridge this gap…
As our passion grew, we question ourselves if we can a make a difference in the specialty coffee Malaysia landscape. This is in 2012 when specialty coffee or also known as third wave coffee is relatively unknown. Malaysia is a country with huge numbers of coffee enthusiast that has been drinking predominantly Robusta & Liberica based coffee drinks. There was increasing population of expatriates coming into Malaysia, students returning from overseas and the flow and effect of globalization. As such, the Malaysian market was slowly learning on the flavour profiles of specialty Arabica coffee beans which then creates a niche demand. Auresso Coffee was born to bridge this gap in supply of specialty arabica coffee beans and the journey begins….
Our Initial Approach
We aim to provide the Malaysian consumer freshly roasted specialty arabica coffee beans, organic teas, drinking chocolate powder, and more all online via an e-commerce website. Auresso formed a sister company in Perth that worked closely with roasters and producers across Australia. Auresso Australia manages our suppliers and then sends the supplies to Auresso Malaysia. As freshness of the coffee beans are of utmost importance to us, we decided to ship our coffee orders soonest possible. Our coffee shipments will be in smaller batches every fortnight to ensure only the freshest is offered to the Malaysian consumer. Coffee line-up includes various espresso blends and single origin coffees, roasted on various profiles. In addition, we would showcase a particular single origin coffee/espresso blend from time to time.
Our pioneer coffee offerings
With this concept, we started off with Rubra Coffee roasters and Grand Central Coffee roasters. Rubra coffee provided us with options of medium dark roasted arabica coffees. This gives a bolder, chocolaty and nutty coffee flavors. With Grand Central coffee, we are now able to offer specialty coffee blends and single origins which is roasted lighter. Lighter roasted specialty arabica coffee beans tend to highlight more on the natural flavors of the coffee. We can also distinguish coffee flavors according to the origin of the coffees itself. Lighter roasted coffees also allows manual or filter brewing methods such as V60 pour over.
Rubra coffee became an instant hit in Malaysia with its premium espresso blends. Some of the bestsellers include the Chantico and Amada espresso blends. Grand Central coffee meanwhile, is popular for its Milkman blend. It was a medium roasted espresso blend initially created for a participant of a barista competition.
What is Specialty Coffee?
Are you wondering what is Specialty Coffee actually about?? Specialty coffee is a term when coffees score over 80 points on a 100 point scale by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). This grading process is called “cupping”, which is the practice of observing the tastes and aromas of brewed coffee. Over the years, the term Specialty Coffee has evolved to comprise not just the final grading score of the coffee. We now have a holistic view that includes various aspect to the definition. First is quality farming by the producers. Second, the quality of coffee cupping done by the green coffee buyers. Third, the meticulous roasting techniques by coffee roasters. Fourth, the highly skilled baristas that are able to pull decent espresso shots. Finally the consumers themselves who complete the life cycle of the specialty coffee bean.
A new addition to our coffee partners
Soon enough we were comfortable in our specialty coffee bean offerings in Malaysia. We thought to ourselves, “What’s next”? To enhance our understanding of the specialty coffee industry further, we decided to partner with another premium coffee roaster. This time with Ona Coffee roasters whose owner Sasa Sestic was fresh after winning the World Barista Championship in 2015. Backed by their strong branding, we decided to launch Ona Coffee as our third regular coffee offering. Freshly roasted coffee beans from Ona were typically of higher scores. Typically closer towards 90 points which means it is of higher quality and also means relatively more expensive coffees.
All of this gave us an edge in the Malaysian coffee scene as the only coffee supplier and distributor with good variety of offerings. Whether you’re looking for dark, medium or light roasted premium specialty arabica coffee beans, Auresso had it all. We were truly championing the growth of the specialty coffee industry in Malaysia.
How we stayed relevant in the Specialty Coffee Industry
Over time, there was increasing knowledge transfers and advancements in coffee roasting technology and machines. This resulted in an amazing growth of Malaysian specialty coffee roasters. More and more local talents emerged in the industry, and some being hugely successful. What this means is that it is time we upgrade ourselves to remain relevant in the specialty coffee industry.
We decided to stop working with our regular coffee partners from Australia. In return, we partnered with Ghostbird Coffee company, a local coffee roaster more well known for their chain of establishments, The Owls Cafe. Through our partnership with Ghostbird Coffee, Auresso was able to sell our own espresso blends namely, Rookie, All Star and Hall of Fame.
We now have our own in-house espresso blends
As the name suggests, Rookie is a great option as a beginner’s coffee. You can easily calibrate it for espresso, mokapot or french press and is suitable for milk based. All Star blend has a tad more acidity, suitable for milk based and on black. Meanwhile, Hall of Fame is our signature blend, best when you take it on black (without milk). Hall of Fame boasts notes of fruitiness and floral which are the key characteristics one expects from a specialty arabica coffee bean. All our three house blends are available on a weekly ordering and delivery basis. There are also separate prices for Retail and Wholesale which can be obtained from our website itself.
In addition to our house blends, we decided to come out from our comfort zone and start exploring the specialty coffee industry in other parts of the world. We noted there were other companies importing and reselling coffee beans from international roasters. However these were mainly as a regular option or as off the shelves. Hence the coffee beans on sale are already roasted for some time, and not fresh.
Guest Coffee Roaster
Auresso introduced a guest coffee roaster option where we work with a different prominent roaster monthly to bring down their specialty coffee beans, both espresso blends and single origins. Our guest coffee roasters are either international roasters who are already well known in the world coffee industry or those who have won awards in barista, roasting or other relevant competitions. Options offered to clients are in the form of mystery coffee boxes, with three different options available. Mystery Filter box contains 2 bags of single origin coffee roasted for filter brew. Mystery Espresso box comes with 2 bags of single origin roasted for espresso brew and finally Mystery Mixed box with a bag each for espresso and filter brew.
On top of this, there will also separate options for premium espresso blends. Our guest coffee roaster concept starts with us advertising the selected guest roaster of the month. Then we take orders for the first 2 weeks of every month, finalize and submit orders to roaster for roasting and packing. Once our orders are ready, we bring it down to Malaysia via express air-freight, and schedule for delivery to customers immediately. Typically, the guest coffee roaster beans are within 10 days post roast when received by customers.
International coffee roasters
Some of the prominent coffee roasters that Auresso have worked with in the past months include Onyx Coffee Lab USA, Cupping Room Coffee Roasters HK, Hasbean UK, Gardelli Specialty Coffee Italy, The Barn Germany, Drop Coffee Roasters Sweden and most recently Coffee Collective from Denmark. We take our coffee offerings seriously and will continue to explore more ways to create more awareness on specialty coffee beans.
Our Current Portfolio
Besides espresso blends and single origin coffee beans, we also supply various other products meant for home and cafe use. This includes certified organic teas, premium drinking chocolate powder, chai latte powders, premium uji matcha powder, premium houjicha powder, coffee cascara, commercial espresso machines and coffee grinders.
Organic Teas by XO Teas Australia
Auresso’s vision has always been in providing quality and sustainable solutions to our clients. In 2019, we met Arjun from XO Organic Teas Australia. It was an instant click as we were quite amazed at the level of quality and perfection adopted by Arjun. All of his organic teas go through a strict production process in order to be certified organic by the NASAA. In the last 1 year, Auresso have been working closely with XO Teas to build the volume and awareness for organic teas in Malaysian market. We’re happy to share that as of June 2020, there are almost 50 outlets currently serving wholesale XO organic teas in their food service establishments.
Retail boxes of XO Teas can also be found in B.I.G and Village Grocer hypermarkets, specifically at their Organic sections. All the flavors that you can find on our website are also available at the retail shelves of above hypermarkets.
Premium Drinking Chocolate Powder by The Original Cocoa Traders Australia
Auresso have partnered with The Original Cocoa Traders Australia (TOCT) as their sole authorized distributor in Malaysia. We have been distributing their range of drinking chocolate powder blends in Malaysia for the past 6 years. The Original Cocoa Traders, was established in late 2005 by Gabe Davidson. They’re based in Melbourne with production facilities both in Melbourne and New Zealand. The drinking chocolate powder blends available are the Koko Deluxe, Mofo Deluxe and the Premium Mofo. These are available widely in many countries including Australia, New York, New Zealand, London, Japan, Singapore and here in Malaysia.
There are 3 blends to choose from which are Koko Deluxe 40%, Mofo Deluxe 29% and the Premium Mofo Deluxe 50%. Koko Deluxe 40% is our best selling drinking chocolate powder blend among our cafe clients. Premium Mofo Deluxe on the other hand goes very well with our retail and home brewers. It uses Organic Coconut Blossom sugar as an alternative to cane sugar which gives it a lower glycemic index, thus suitable for those who needs to control on their sugar intake. At present, we have more than 60 outlets within Malaysia serving hot and iced chocolate drink using drinking chocolate powder from The Original Cocoa Traders.
Pure Uji Matcha Powder & Premium Houjicha Powder
Auresso’s Pure Uji Matcha & Houjicha powder is from Uji, Kyoto, Japan. We have been working directly with Kiyosen Japan for past few years. Under the supervision of Izumi San, they have been excellent in providing us support and really high quality product. Both uji matcha and houjicha is available in bags of 100g, to ensure that yo do not expose a lot of powder at any time. This is because the powders will oxidise faster and loses flavor over time when left exposed.
We take both uji matcha and houjicha stock in small amounts regularly to ensure clients only receive the freshest. Both the powders are suitable for beverage and baking. We do have clients using them for hot and iced matcha, hot houjicha, matcha waffle, matcha and houjicha cakes and more. Auresso’s premium uji matcha and premium houjicha powder is widely available in many cafes nationwide and are among the best-selling products on our online store.
Chai Latte Powder
Chai tea is a fragrant, spicy tea that may help boost heart health. It can also reduce blood sugar levels, aid digestion and help with weight loss. Although most of these health benefits are backed by science, it’s worth noting that they are generally linked to the ingredients used in chai tea rather than chai tea itself. We have the mildly sweetened Chai Latte powder from Chai Me Australia and the unsweetened organic chai latte powder from XO Teas Australia. Spices used include cassia, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, black pepper and star anise.
Cascara, which means “husk,” “peel” or “skin” in Spanish, is the dried skins of coffee cherries. Normally, brewers or coffee drinkers consider coffee cherries as a by-product of the coffee-making process. Most often we discard this as waste or used as compost. But now, we can brew these cherries to produce a unique drink of their own. Its taste is however different from that of tea with most people reporting it to have a “sweet yet fruity” taste with a distinctive tobacco and hibiscus taste intermingled in it. Our coffee cascara is from Market Lane Australia, which uses a Bolivian cascara made from the fruit of typica, caturra and catuai coffee trees.
Espresso Machine & Grinders
Since the launch of Auresso Coffee in 2012, we have been working closely with Coffex Coffee Malaysia. Our currernt range of commercial coffee machines and grinder available to our clients are all from Coffex. As their authorized distributor, all machines and grinders purchased through us will come with standard warranty from them. Among our best-selling models include the La Cimbali’s, Wega Pegaso’s and Fiorenzato grinders. We also provide consultation on your coffee bar setup, coffee menu planning, product sourcing, barista training requirements and more.
How can you get in touch with Auresso
Easy, just drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or whatsapp to Ramesh at +6016-2081259. We believe in providing quality and sustainable solutions and support. Google us and you’ll find excellent reviews from many of our clients. We take as a positive sign of of our commitment towards the growth of the coffee industry in Malaysia.
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