KopieSatu Making Headway In The World Of Specialty Coffee

16 NOVEMBER 2010 - BERNAMA


BRIGHT PROSPECT..."As an initiative to develop a market for Malaysian coffee and promote the local agro-industry, KopiSatu is the perfect platform for entry into the coffee industry for bumiputra entrepreneurs and those engaged in the small and medium-sized industry," says FAMA Chairman, Datuk Paduka Haji Badruddin Amiruldin. Pic: Mohd Azhar Ibrahim

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 (Bernama) -- Coffee is one of the most cherished and widely consumed beverage in the world. The fondness for the beverage is shared by people from all nations and cultures.

According to the 2010 edition of Coffee Statistics Report, coffee ranks just behind petroleum as the world's second-most traded commodity, with some 400 billion cups being consumed annually.

The Malaysian passion for coffee manifests itself in the ubiquitous kopitiam where the aroma of freshly grounded coffee beans permeates the air as it is roasted, usually with a mixture of sugar, margarine and wheat, brewed into strong black coffee served piping hot in quaint porcelain cups.

While unpretentious country folks and stoic veterans are quite content with good flavour, not overly fussy about brands, and pay scant attention to ambience; image conscious urbanites - especially the impressionable young - make a beeline to specialty coffee house franchise the likes of San Francisco, Gloria Jeans, Starbucks, and Coffee Bean, which offer a seemingly endless variety of gourmet coffee in a slew of exotic flavours.

These up-market clientele now have the choice of a local brand in the form of KopieSatu, a premium specialty coffee blend created by FAMA, which is increasingly making its presence felt in popular bistros and cafes in and around the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor.

THE BEGINNING

Back in 1974 when the local coffee industry was in the doldrums, FAMA started a coffee factory in the backwater district of Banting, in Selangor, which provided a lifeline for coffee growers in Kedah, Selangor and Johore.

The factory bought up all the liberica beans grown by the locals, and together with robusta beans imported from Indonesia; processed them into coffee powder for distribution to coffee shops throughout the peninsular.

Its operations were later expanded to include the manufacturing of 'Anggerik 3-in-1' coffee packets from robusta beans cultivated in Sabah and Sarawak. KopieSatu has its beginning when during his tenure as prime minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi broached the idea of creating a local brand to storm the bastille of specialty coffee which is dominated by foreign franchises here.

Gourmet coffee is almost never brewed from a single variety of coffee bean. The common practise is to mix different varieties having opposing characteristics so as to obtain a smoother beverage.

The blending process, which has developed into a fine art, creates a flavour that is greater than the sum of its component coffees.

"Although arabica beans are the cream of the crop and provide the richest and most flavourful taste, the secret in producing a unique and distinctive flavour lies in the blending process and roasting technique", KopieSatu Operation Hub Centre Manager, Shikh Maidin Abdul Kadir said to Bernama.

FAMA took up the cudgels knowing full well that with a plethora of brands and styles already available in the market, coming up with a new recipe for a gourmet coffee that would satisfy both local taste and international expectation is a tall order indeed.

"The quest for yet another gourmet coffee that has its own signature flavour and quality is an arduous task. It took close to three years to get the formula for the right blend mix and roasting technique to produce KopieSatu," Shikh Maidin added.

Eventually, KopieSatu, which is blended from a mix of three varieties of arabica beans imported from Indonesia, made its debut in 2003 with six different coffee menus.

BRINGING THE TASTE TO THE PEOPLE

KopieSatu was introduced to the public at national and state level conventions and exposition like the Farmers, Livestock Breeders and Fishermen's Day celebrations organised by the Agriculture Ministry.

Five mobile caravans made rotating appearance to promote KopieSatu at the Semua House in Jalan Masjid India, Kuala Lumpur; UIAM campus in Gombak; UPM campus in Serdang; and farmers' market in Shah Alam, Kelana Jaya and Putrajaya.

To gauge international acceptance, the beverage was also served at international motorsports and sport events, including international exposition like the biannual Malaysian Agriculture Horticulture and Agrotourism (MAHA).

At its headquarters, FAMA conducted a blind cupping taste testing session with coffee cognoscente and refined diplomats, to solicit their informed opinion with regards to the flavour, flagrance and aroma of various specialty coffees. The beverage received the 'thumbs up' on all these occasions.

As a result of intensive product research and development, KopieSatu is now served in an impressive range of twenty three coffee menus with the tagline "Good taste that comes to you!"

PROMOTING BUMIPUTRA PARTICIPATION IN THE COFFEE INDUSTRY

"As an initiative to develop a market for Malaysian coffee and promote the local agro-industry, KopiSatu is the perfect platform for entry into the coffee industry for Bumiputra entrepreneurs and those engaged in the small and medium-sized industry", FAMA Chairman, Datuk Paduka Haji Badruddin Amiruldin said at the launch of the KopieSatu distributorship at Restoran Seri Bidara in Bandar Sunway, recently.

Restoran Seri Bidara is the first eatery to offer the whole gallery of twenty three KopieSatu coffee menus. Its 23-year old proprietor Ahmad Shafeez Ibrahim, who graduated with Diplomas in Business Management and Culinary Art, plans to open another five outlets within the next three years.

For those who plan on getting onboard the KopieSatu bandwagon, FAMA has packaged three modes of participation tailored to the different needs of those interested in the coffee beverage business.

Fresh starters have a choice of either investing in a fixed kiosk for an investment of RM 35,000, or a mobile caravan for RM150,000.

In addition to the kiosk or motor vehicle and modifications for the caravan; costs include the supply of uniforms, coffee brewing machine, auxiliary equipment and utensils, and one week intensive training for two, conducted at FAMA's KopieSatu Operation Hub Centre in Puchong.

Existing shop owners need only to invest RM30,000 in equipment, uniforms and training before they are permitted to serve KopieSatu at their business premise.

Unlike other gourmet coffee brands, KopieSatu entrepreneurs do not have to pay any hefty upfront franchise fee.

To ensure perfection in every brew and satisfaction in every cup, all KopieSatu outlets are professionally equipped with top-of-the-shelf Mairali Espresso Machine manufactured in Singapore under licence from Quality Espresso in Spain.

With such an attractive range of investment package, FAMA have set its sight on creating fifty KopieSatu entrepreneurs by the year-end.

KopieSatu MAKING HEADWAY AS A SPECIALTY COFFEE

In today's fast paced life, savouring a cup of refreshing hot coffee while reading a good book, listening to one's favourite music or engrossed in lively conversation with close friends; can be the highlight of the day.

As more consumers discover the level of quality and flavour in KopieSatu, enquiries streamed in from interested investors and entrepreneurs.

In addition to existing retail operations scattered across residential areas in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang; including agro-bazaars at R&R areas along the PLUS highway, FAMA have received requests from Terengganu, Kelantan, Johor and Sabah.

Plans are under way to introduce KopieSatu to distant shores. According to Shikh Maidin, negotiations to start an outlet in Perth, Australia are currently ongoing.

"FAMA will liaise with the Tourist Development Corporation (TDC) and the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) to leverage on the Global Malaysian Kitchen Campaign and introduce KopieSatu to the international arena", Badruddin added.

Meanwhile aspiring KopieSatu entrepreneurs can either contact FAMA headquarters directly at 03-61262020 or FAMA's KopieSatu Operation Hub Centre in Puchong Jaya at 03-58824172.

-- BERNAMA