We sat down with Chris Maksaereekul, co-founder of specialty coffee and lifestyle brand The Maks' Coffee as well as author of My Journey with Coffee, to learn more about her story and the coffee industry!
Chris Maksaereekul, co-founder of The Maks' Coffee
How is it like growing up in a coffee family and what inspired you to start The Maks’ Coffee?
Although coffee has been a part of my family for many generations, I first started my career in the financial services industry and stepped into the coffee business only a few years ago. It was definitely a big transition for me. What sparked my interest in coffee most certainly originated from my grandfather’s passion for coffee. He started the coffee business in 1965, where he roasted and supplied traditional coffee to local coffee shops. The Maks’ Coffee was born in 2018 as a spin-off from the original brand with a fresh, new concept to produce specialty coffee sustainably. My personal search for non-palpitating and less acidic coffee drinks has also contributed to why The Maks’ Coffee focuses on sourcing only 100% premium Arabica coffee.
Is coffee seasonal? Where do you get your coffee beans from?
Coffee, like many other agricultural commodities, is seasonal as it is heavily affected by the climate in that specific geography. The Maks’ Coffee source a majority of our beans from micro-lot coffee farms within the region. For instance, our house bean is sourced directly from our partner coffee farm located in the North of Thailand.
Chris picking coffee cherries on one of their partner coffee farms in Thailand
Is there something that coffee lovers may not know about the coffee industry?
Coffee is the second most sought after commodity in the world. This billion-dollar industry has long been predominantly male-dominated, but it is slowly evolving overtime with new initiatives to promote gender equality and policies. As a woman-owned business, The Maks’ Coffee believes in supporting other like minded women-owned businesses and communities within the region. We also work with women artisans in the region to design and handcraft sustainable lifestyle goods.
Which are your 5 favourite coffee spots in Singapore?
My number one coffee stop where I start my day would be at The Maks’ Coffee Tasting Room. We’re also quite fortunate to be located in Katong, where I believe has become Singapore’s new coffee hub, as we’re surrounded by so many great coffee shops and cafes. My go to places in the area include Homeground Coffee Roasters, Brawn and Brains Coffee and Chin Mee Chin for a more nostalgic ambience. If venturing out of the area, I like to visit the Alchemist at Khong Guan Building as well.
1. The Maks’ Coffee Tasting Room
2. Homeground Coffee Roasters
3. Brawn and Brains Coffee
4. Chin Mee Chin
The Tasting Room by The Maks' Coffee at 267 Tembeling Road
What was the most enjoyable part of creating My Journey with Coffee?
It is seeing our ideas and knowledge of our traits come to life in My Journey with Coffee. It is such a joy to be working with cinnamon art stories, especially with Laura, in this coffee picture book collaboration and being able to share my passion for coffee to the younger generation.