Talks by cafe owners, corporate bigwigs and ST journalists

One of The Straits Times' best-known columnists, Ms Sumiko Tan will do a meet-and-greet for her new book, Sundays With Sumiko, at the Singapore Coffee Festival.
One of The Straits Times' best-known columnists, Ms Sumiko Tan will do a meet-and-greet for her new book, Sundays With Sumiko, at the Singapore Coffee Festival. ST FILE PHOTO
Find out how former Web consultant Pamela Chng made a career switch and started the Bettr Barista Coffee Academy at the Singapore Coffee Festival.
Find out how former Web consultant Pamela Chng made a career switch and started the Bettr Barista Coffee Academy at the Singapore Coffee Festival. ST FILE PHOTO
Singtel's consumer chief executive Yuen Kuan Moon will give his take on tech addiction in the digital age at the Singapore Coffee Festival.
Singtel's consumer chief executive Yuen Kuan Moon will give his take on tech addiction in the digital age at the Singapore Coffee Festival. PHOTO: SINGTEL

SINGAPORE - Aside from getting your caffeine fix, there will be much food for thought at the Singapore Coffee Festival 2017.

Some 15 talks, featuring cafe owners, start-up founders, corporate bigwigs as well as senior journalists from The Straits Times, have been organised as part of the festival.

On from Aug 3 to Aug 6 at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre, the festival is organised by The Straits Times and presented by DBS Bank.

This year's festival will feature around 70 food and beverage (F&B) vendors, workshops, live music by home-grown singers, the annual Singapore AeroPress Championships and Barter Market, where over 25 vendors will offer wares in exchange for anything but cash.

The festival's first day - Aug 3 - has been set aside for trade and media. Talks that day will be on topics such as how to harness social media for one's business, and techniques to improve the quality of coffee.

The remaining days - Aug 4 to Aug 6 - are for the public. Talks will be spread throughout the two sessions that each day is divided into - brunch, from 10am to 3.30pm; and sundown, from 4.30pm to 10pm.

Brunch sessions will feature a series of casual chats called Coffee with the Boss, with corporate leaders. For example, DBS' regional head of group research Timothy Wong will talk about his own personal investment stories with ST Business editor Lee Su Shyan and give financial tips. Singtel's consumer chief executive Yuen Kuan Moon will give his take on tech addiction in the digital age in a chat with ST senior tech correspondent Irene Tham. Princess Cruises director for South-east Asia Farriek Tawfik will dispense travel tips and ideas for exotic holiday destinations with ST travel correspondent Lydia Vasko.

  • Singapore Coffee Festival

  • WHERE Marina Bay Cruise Centre, 61 Marina Coastal Drive

    WHEN Aug 3 (for trade and media only, register at www.sgcoffee festival.com); two sessions daily from Aug 4 to 6, 10am to 3.30pm and 4.30pm to 10pm

    ADMISSION $22, $18 (DBS and POSB cardholders, ST subscribers)

    INFORMATION Available at www.sgcoffeefestival.com

Sundown sessions will see coffee industry players spill the beans on their field in a series of discussions called Food For Thought. For example, Mr Keith Loh of Guerilla Seeds, Mr Richard Koh of 1degreeC, and Mr Enoch Teo from Garcons will share what it takes to become an F&B entrepreneur.

Also, find out how some decided to make a mid-career switch to the coffee industry, such as Mr Adrian Khong, who went from being a banker to the founder of Jewel Coffee, and former Web consultant Pamela Chng, who started Bettr Barista Coffee Academy.

Other personalities to look out for include Paralympic champion Yip Pin Xiu, who will do a storytelling session and meet-and-greet for her new book, Mermaid Who Became A Champion, with ST assistant sports editor Rohit Brijnath; and Singapore Literature Prize-winning local poet Joshua Ip, who will take part in a chat called My After-work Career, in which he will talk about how he balances his day job as a civil servant with his other life as a poet.

Two of ST's best-known columnists, Ms Sumiko Tan and Mr Ignatius Low, will also do a meet-and- greet for their respective new books, Sundays With Sumiko and Life Is A Mixtape. Says Ms Tan: "I will talk about what it's like to write a personal column and dealing with readers' responses, the good and bad. I'm most looking forward to meeting readers and chatting with them over a cup of coffee."

All talks will be held at the ST Lounge and are free for festival ticket holders. Regular tickets are priced at $22 per session, and at $18 per session for DBS cardholders and ST subscribers.

Ms Fiona Chan, head of Group Strategy and Analytics at Singapore Press Holdings, says that based on talks at last year's inaugural Singapore Coffee Festival, the most popular sessions were about food, entrepreneurship and sustainability.

"So we've built on those topics this year and brought in more expert speakers. We also found that festival-goers enjoyed the chance to meet business heads and ST journalists, and ask them anything under the sun - thus we introduced the Coffee with the Boss series this year, where our editors and correspondents engage in one-on-one chats with newsmakers in front of a live audience."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2017, with the headline 'Talks by cafe owners, corporate bigwigs and ST journalists'. Print Edition | Subscribe