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Home Brew: Coffee with Local Poet Marc Nair and Champion Barista Hisyam

After Costa Coffee‘s session with Singaporean poet Marc Nair last Saturday, travelling to new places or revising old haunts will never feel the same again.

The chill event kicked off with a short video of Marc’s travels to the birthplace of Costa Coffee in London. Through the video, we were “given” the chance to pop by the rich literary scene in and around the city and also the root of the whole operation; that is, the Costa Coffee Roastery.

HL5A7684Things picked up when we were introduced to Hisyam, Costa Coffee’s first Singaporean and regional Asian-representative in the International Costa Coffee barista competition, surpassing all expectations and emerging as the Barista of the Year Singapore 2015, and later, Regional Champion. Hisyam was also the first Singaporean to represent the region in the global leg!

He took us through an eye-opening masterclass of the world of espresso shots, with specialties such as Costa’s ol’ blend Mocha Italia. Describing to us the aroma and taste of each interesting blend, the cheery and experienced brewer taught us the quirks of making a shot “heartwarming”.

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“Observe, converse, and imagine.”

Personally, it was the little workshop Marc had for us that stuck with me strongest. Reading aloud some of his amazing works from “SPOMENIK”, and sharing the pictures he took during his travels was definitely a treat. “Observe, converse, and imagine”, Marc challenged as he urged us to write our own poems or proses based off of experiences we’ve recently had, or even just off a photo we took.

HL5A7723I really wished my Literature class back in Secondary School was even a little like this session and I can’t wait for Costa Coffee’s next event in the series, teased to be titled “Costa Coffee with Shakespeare”. Another one for the Literature buffs, huh?

All in all, the “Costa Coffee With…” series is amazing initiative by Costa Coffee to blend literature and coffee in Singapore’s brewing arts scene.

Check out more photos from the event below:


“SPOMENIK” – poems and photographs by Marc Nair, launches Saturday, 12 March 2016 at The Arts House. More details here.


Photos by: Dave Wong

Many thanks to Costa Coffee.

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