It’s World Coffee Day and what better way than to chat with our favorite coffee duo at Howl & Kodama to learn more about their journey with coffee – how it started, what they do and what led them to do what they do.
1. Tell us a little more about yourselves
[Cat & Leo]: We are a husband and wife duo on a wacky mission to bring people and natural products closer together. We are Canadian by birth, currently residing in Singapore, with ethnic roots in Hong Kong, Philippines, and India.
2. You’ve both started Howl and Kodama less than a year ago – tell us more about it.
[Cat & Leo]: Howl & Kodama is a distributor of natural products mainly sourced from Coorg, Karnataka, India from our family's farm. We wholesale our family's coffee into Singapore with great partners like Bettr Barista and Papa Palheta. We also experiment with beeswax balm, natural soaps, beeswax wrap, essential oils, and small batches of roasted & cold brew coffee for the Joo Chiat neighbourhood.
Our favourite offering is our weekend workshop where people spend several hours with us learning about the coffee journey from farm to cup.
3. So what made you both decide to start this?
[Cat & Leo]: Our motivation started with a desire to repair Cat's chronic ailments. At home, Leo created a systematic and organised way to experiment and change our daily habits with food. This extended to other products like our clothes, skincare, furniture, kitchenware, and anything impacting our mental and physical well-being.
After a tough but patient 3-4 year journey, an estimated 90% of Cat's ailments were abolished.
We want to share our experiences and access to what we've discovered along the way because we don't want it to be so tough for everybody else if we can help it at all.
4. What can people expect from the weekend workshop?
[Cat & Leo]: We've been hosting the coffee workshop through Airbnb Experiences. We host only on the weekends. Each session is to a maximum of 4, though we have hosted up to 8 people before. We take our guests through a tasting, roasting, and brewing journey using our family's beans. We will also serve a home cooked meal, share our story, and for the curious, we dive more into food & products for health.
5. You’ve both made quite some changes in your lifestyle since. What're your current relationships with food, clothes and other lifestyle habits?
[Cat]: I had spent a lot of my life eating lifeless food and putting lifeless products on my body. That exhausted me, especially my digestive system. Unthought Known: Humans are born with a slightly alkaline pH level that is well balanced. Excess alkaline or acid from the food we eat can cause a serious imbalance. To ease the strain on my system, I’ve spent a year cutting out acidic food and introduce alkaline food into my eating routine daily.
I’ve also re-hauled my wardrobe. I read the label, felt the material, smelled the fabric of every item in my closet - anything that irritated my skin and senses left our home. Leo and I committed ourselves to buying affordable, simple, and natural material clothing.
6. What’s your advice to someone who’s also looking to make a change?
[Cat & Leo]: It can be made simple. It can be made complex. It can be exciting and fun. It can be intimidating and tough. You'll feel all these things.
Each person's solution is different. One person's cure can be another person's poison. Keep going - that's my advice. Take it in stride, take it in snacks. You're meant to build up confidence and customise your own journey.
That is the journey.