Mahesh has been in the coffee industry for 7 years now, but it was not always destined to turn out this way. When choosing his career path, he was like many, unsure of his career path. He started out thinking corporate would be the best way to go and jumped between different industries but never feeling fully satisfied. Through everything, the one constant in his life was coffee. He had always loved coffee, met up with people over coffee and even continued to work part time as a barista through all this because he loved it. He then realised that he could do something in this industry because it was something he loved and in his words, "It is more than a job. It is about building a culture, one that I love."
Cloud Catcher was conceived with a passion for speciality coffee. Founded in 2015, they strive to connect different people and different communities from all walks of life by spreading the speciality coffee culture. They ensure all the beans used are produced in the most sustainable way from all across the world. Cloud Catcher has the simple aim of sharing great coffee with as many people as possible, and continue empowering the lives of farmers and producers we work with. In their words "it's more than a beverage, it's a culture."
Tell us more about you & Cloud Catcher
Mahesh: Hi, I'm Mahesh, coffee enthusiast, outdoor junkie. I work with Cloud Catcher. We're a team of passionate individuals working to grow the specialty coffee scene in Malaysia. We pride ourselves in sourcing exceptional quality green beans from across the globe and roasting it here in Malaysia. Green bean traders, coffee roasters, educators - basically a one stop center for specialty coffee.
What is it like being a specialty coffee roaster in Malaysia?
Mahesh: Coffee is more than just a beverage. It's a culture, a journey. And a fun journey indeed! As roasters, this journey connects us with both ends of the supply chain. We get to work with producers and bring the best of the coffee world to our region.
Being a food loving nation, most Malaysians like myself grew up having our traditional coffee. With specialty coffee, it's a whole different world as we highlight the unique and natural flavours that these coffees have. When the specialty scene started booming here a few years back, we found that most Malaysians were still not used to the delicacy of flavours that exist in specialty coffee. Trust me, sometimes it's almost like drinking tea or a refreshing juice. We had to educate people and shift their mindset over the years. The industry is still growing and we're glad to say that more are being exposed to this amazing world of flavours that is specialty coffee.
Do you see the Malaysian specialty coffee scene growing at a sustainable rate?
Mahesh: Whilst it has been growing, there's definitely a lot more potential in the industry. There's still a huge percentage of people who don't really understand the difference between specialty coffee and commercial coffee, and that is the biggest challenge.
Through proper exposure and education, we hope that we can convert everyone haha. The thing that usually puts people off is the price of these coffees. The market is filled with cheap, commercial coffees that don't taste good, and some are even filled with chemicals and preservatives. What we roast are quality coffees. They taste way better, and are healthier. If we can instill into everyone and educate them about the difference that these coffees have, trust me, one taste and you'll be a convert!
What is one common misconception about coffee that Malaysians have, that you wish you can change?
Mahesh: That coffee is meant to be bold and bitter only. Before the emergence of specialty coffee, that's the most common perception of coffee, and because of that, sugar or sweetened milk is often used to cover up bad quality beans or dark roasted coffee.
But quality coffee carries amazing flavours naturally. That's what we want to showcase, great coffee, carefully roasted to highlight it's natural flavours.
If you could educate Malaysians about one thing, what would it be?
Mahesh: A change of mindset. Art and craft isn't defined by region. PEOPLE create beautiful things with the right skill and heart - yes even here in our motherland.
Like us, there's many passionate local producers and creators (in any industry). Break that mindset and experience/support local!
What is an impact you wanna leave in Malaysia through Cloud Catcher?
Mahesh: Coffee is all about community and relationships. My hope is that through specialty coffee, we encourage a healthier, tastier way of drinking coffee and connecting with people.
Where can we get your beans/coffee and where can we follow you?
We have got a wide selection of roasted coffee beans on our website, cloudcatcher.asia. To see what goes on behind the scenes at our roastery, or for updates on our latest offerings, follow us on Facebook or Instagram @cloudcatcher.asia