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Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph and coffee

day in the life of a barista
by Peter Chong on August 30, 2019

We reviewed the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph in detailed (see here for review), and we thought that as it is such a handsome watch, we’d do some lifestyle photography with it. We chose to do this in a swanky local cafe – Common Man Coffee Roasters at Stanley Street. Here is the photo essay. We hope you will enjoy it.

Be sure to read this first!

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph detailed review

please read our hands-on detailed review of the watch first.

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph and Common Man Coffee Roasters

Watches and coffee – the finer things in life. Both to be enjoyed whilst living the full life. We see many parallels between fine watchmaking and the art of brewing artisanal coffee. Both are a well tempered art of balancing precision with feel, fueled with a dose of passion. The science of making coffee and the art creating a delicious brew parallels well with watchmaking, especially as personified by Jaquet Droz. Here is a peek at a day in the life of a barista. Featuring the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph and Common Man Stan.

Large cappuccino with exquisite latte art. Wristed in the Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph.

Pulling an espresso is an art which is based solidly on science. The exact roast and blend of beans. The precise grind, done here at Common Man Stan with Mazzer Electronic Grinders. Then the brewing with the superbly crafted Synesso MVP Hydra 3 group espresso machine. Timing is critical. The grind, tamp, and condition of the beans must be such that water at temperature about 90C at about 9 bar pressure will extract about 40g of espresso from 20g of grinds within 23-28 seconds. And when all comes together, the espresso is magic. Exactly the same as in haute horlogy. The tinkering and handwork on pieces of metal all come together in a precision instrument which beats and breathes. Magic.

Pulling an espresso. The machine in residence is the three group Synesso MVP Hydra.

Pouring latte art is an art form which is a total joy to watch. Not only the result of the art on your coffee, but also the swaying and jiggling by the barista to produce the crisp, clear picture in your cup.

Latte art, demonstrated by Matt McLauchlan, Wholesale GM of Common Man Coffee Roasters.

Pour over coffee is another precise form where the barista carefully measures out the coffee dose, grinds it, and pours hot water over the ground coffee in a filter. Extracting a brew which is cleaner on the palate than espresso. Shown here, Matt uses a Hario Drip kettle, and the Kalita Wave Ceramic filter holder.

Coffee through a filter pour over technique.

And for a smooth, clean cold coffee, nothing quite beats nitro cold brew. This is a method starts with the cold-brew coffee. A precise dose of coffee is made to a course grind, and cold water is dripped one drop a time, extracting the same amount of brew. This is then infused with nitrogen gas which is released through a pressurized valve with tiny holes. As high pressure forces the cold brew past a disc, it creates a creamy, stout-like effect.

Pulling a shot of nitro cold brew. Almost the same technique as pulling a beer. And the coffee looks like a dark beer too!

Common Man Coffee Roasters at Stanley does food too! When we were there for the photoshoot mid-morning on a Tuesday, the cafe was full! Breakfast, lunch, and afternoon break from 7:30am till 5:30pm daily.

All that coffee is hard work. A man’s gotta eat. Common Man Stan also serves food all day.

About Common Man Coffee Roasters:

Common Man Coffee Roasters is a café and specialty wholesaler in Singapore. We photographed this story at the Stanley Street café for this shoot, a shop they call Common Man Stan. They have another café in Martin Road and another in Kuala Lumpur.

“Common Man Stan knows his specialty coffee, and is a straight shooter. At the same time, he is here to share this knowledge in a very approachable and enjoyable way, specialty coffee for the common man.”

Common Man Stan main counter.

This is all set amidst a sleek backdrop, combining natural textures of wood and rattan, marble and raw cement, brought together with a touch of gold.

Production Notes: Photography and art direction: Peter Chong * Models: Matt McLauchlan & Tan Jingting * Special thanks to Sarah Rouse for the use of the café and to Alex and the café staff for their cooperation. And to Colin Loh for connecting us.

Behind the scenes gallery

Behind the scenes were photographed by Tan Jingting.

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