The New Black, a relatively new multiroaster cafe chain that boasts fiercely modern branding and give rockstar-like reverence to it wholesale roaster partners, has appointed 2004 U.S. Barista Champion Bronwen Serna as its director of coffee.
A certified SCAA instructor with a training resumé that has taken her throughout much of Asia and the United States, Serna will lead The New Black’s in-house training academy, beginning with a full-time, three-week course to prepare new baristas for the opening of the company’s newest location in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District. She’ll also lead the company’s quality control efforts as is sources roasted coffees from some of the industry’s biggest names throughout the world.
“Our focus is on serving both coffee aficionados and novices the world’s best coffees here in Singapore. We’ve set the bar very high and Bronwen will play a key role in helping us to continue to set new standards as we expand our business,” Phoa Kia Boon, CEO and Co-founder of The New Black said in an announcement of the appointment. “We’re delighted to have someone of Bronwen’s ability and reputation on board as the company enters a significant phase of growth.”
The newest location, in Republic Plaza, will be the company’s third since the debut of its first concept store on Upper Circular Road in November of last year. Each of the stores carry through the company’s distinct branding, including the minimalist, sans serif logo, neon color palette. The bars themselves are highly designed with clean lines, loads of steel and glass, and high-tech and under-bar brewing equipment.
As previously mentioned, the company it not shy about promoting its guest roasters — a good indication of this is the giant graphic on the wall of the concept outlet showing the faces of coffee people such as Tim Wendelboe (Tim Wendelboe), George Howell (George Howell Coffee), James Bailey (Workshop Coffee), Colby Barr and Tim O’Donovan (Verve Coffee Roasters), and Jia Min Lee and Dennis Tang (Nylon Coffee Roasters).
The company refers to its coffee menu as the “Impossible Collection,” saying, with audacity, that it is “the most audacious selection of insanely delicious coffees ever assembled.” In addition to the roasteries mentioned above, the company is currently carrying coffees from Small Batch Roasting Co. (Melbourne), Olympia Coffee Roasting Co. (Washington State), Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters (Colorado). The shops’ menus also include hot teas, cascara, iced teas and pastries, all with such emphasis on the supplier.