Sip Blog

Humans of Sip: Interview with Joshua Lin from MashUp

For those who seek a great cup of coffee in Changi Business Park, youai??i??re in luck. Located in Plaza 8 along Changi Business Park Crescent is MashUp, a 3-in-1 specialty coffee, salad and sandwich bar. Using beans from Common Man Coffee Roasters, MashUp rotates different blends of coffee regularly and thereby offers customers a unique treat for their taste buds every time they visit. Their wholesome salads and food are a delight as well, with a full range of options that are as healthy as they are delicious.

This week, weai??i??ll get to know MashUpai??i??s co-founder, Joshua Lin. Coming from a corporate background, Joshua was a Regional Talent Acquisition Specialist with several Fortune 500 companies before deciding to start MashUp with his wife. Subsequently, he developed a keen interest in specialty coffee, and later launched MashUpai??i??s specialty coffee offerings under the label, Seventh Heaven Coffee.

Why did you start MashUp?

My wife and I were interested in starting a business of our own. We decided to start an F&B business, as everybody loves to eat!

What inspired your cafeai??i??s name?

ai???MashUpai??i?? was inspired by our customisable salad bowls, for which you can mix together your choices of vegetables, proteins and more.

MashUp lets you customise your own delicious salad bowls! (Image by @fatclay on Instagram)

How did you get interested in coffee?

I got interested in specialty coffee two years ago. Prior to that, I had no knowledge of it, and would only drink a flavoured latte from big coffee chains occasionally. At MashUp, we initially served coffee made from commercial beans using superautomatic espresso machines. The turning point came when I asked customers for their feedback, and learnt that some of them preferred specialty coffee. Consequently, I sought to learn more about it, started sourcing for specialty coffee beans and took a barista training course. Iai??i??ve never looked back since!

MashUp serves their coffee with 2 shots of espresso, dosed at 22g. (Image by MashUp)

Did you face a steep learning curve?

Yes, and no. Yes, because I rarely drank coffee and had almost zero understanding of it, prior to discovering specialty coffee. No, because I was able to find a lot of information on the Internet, and this helped me to learn more about coffee quickly. However, itai??i??s one thing to have knowledge about coffee, and itai??i??s another thing to apply it! Iai??i??ve been fortunate to receive guidance from several professionals in the industry, which has helped me tremendously.

What are some challenges youai??i??ve faced in starting your own cafe?

Running a cafe can be physically demanding, as one may need to stand for many hours while doing laborious tasks, and may only have time to eat when itai??i??s long past lunchtime. I make it a point to eat only after all my staff have finished eating, as their welfare comes first to me.

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Another challenge surfaced when we started serving specialty coffee. While many customers were happy about it, there were some who took a longer time to accept specialty coffee due to its brightness. Some customers also found our coffeeai??i??s temperature not to their liking, and we explained that we keep the temperature as such to bring out the milkai??i??s sweetness. Weai??i??ve also answered some customersai??i?? queries on why we offer only one coffee cup size ai??i?? and thatai??i??s because we serve all our coffee with 2 shots of espresso and the right amount of milk that we think makes your coffee taste best.

An array of light bites to go with your coffee! (Image by MashUp)

How would you describe your regulars?

Our regulars consist mostly of working adults from the area, namely the Professionals, Managers, Executives and Business Owners.

What would you recommend from your menu?

Other than our customisable salads, Iai??i??d recommend our Tandoori Chicken and Cheesy Mushrooms With Basil Pesto sandwiches!

Cheesy Mushrooms With Basil Pesto sandwich with Panini bread. (Image by MashUp)

Could you tell us more about Seventh Heaven Coffee?

After we started serving specialty coffee, we wanted to give our coffee a distinct identity. Hence we came up with Seventh Heaven Coffee, which is named as such because we want our customers to feel happy when they drink our coffee, like they are in seventh heaven.

Of all the coffees youai??i??ve served, which is your favourite?

My favourite is the Ethiopian beans, as I like their fruity, bright and floral aftertaste!

Joshua and his team.

What have been the most rewarding parts of your coffee journey so far?

One of the most rewarding aspects was seeing the tangible difference Iai??i??ve made in helping people to appreciate specialty coffee. When a customer who previously wasnai??i??t used to our coffee, tells me that they now love it, I feel very moved! Such comments make the journey worth it, and spur me on to continue specialty coffee education. We just recently held the first ever cupping session in Changi Business Park, and we hope to continue breaking new ground like such.

Aside from that, itai??i??s amazing to witness how coffee brings people together! I find it similar to soccer, where strangers become comrades through supporting the same team. Likewise, people can walk into a cafe as strangers and come out as friends, due to their same love for coffee!

Lastly, Iai??i??m grateful for the relationships I have with my team. Without my hardworking team members, our progress wouldnai??i??t have been possible.

What plans do you have in the future?

Iai??i??m planning to open a second cafe that focuses on coffee, snacks and brunch in the future!

1 Changi Business Park Crescent, Plaza 8 #01-07
Singapore 486025

Opening hours: 8am - 6.30pm (Monday to Friday)

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