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Great Coffee in Common: Byron Lim

Great Coffee in Common: Byron Lim, The Tiny Roaster  When and how did your Roasting journey start? It grew out of the necessity and sustainability for the café, and there was an opportunity to learn and grow inward/in-house. I wanted to know even more in-dept. about coffee, even more than my role as a barista. One natural question I had for myself all the time was, “How does a roaster influence the coffee and customer’s experience?”. As a roaster now, I get to define the flavour and story of the coffee, it gives me greater influence and impact in every batch of roast that will affect the overall customer’s experience. How will your roasting experience now add benefits to you make a cup of coffee if you hop behind a coffee bar? Technically it helps me understand how different elements affect the taste of the coffee. How there are limitation that a barista will face which can be due to the Roast Profile, the Quality of Green, us not picking up the ‘Quakers’, and before that, I was just frustrated and questioned my own coffee knowledge and experience when I can’t perfecting calibrate the coffee. How does a good grade/quality green affect the final cup? Can people expect good coffee using lower grade coffee? Coffee quality is a roaster’s starting point. As a roaster I ask myself how I can take this coffee one step farther, how I can highlight the producers and barista too. What do you look out for when you’re creating a blend? Balance is a very common word heard, but what is your view as a balance cup? “Balance” to me is general market acceptance; not too boring or adventurous, a comfortable cup for everyone. Balance of Flavor, good body, good acidity. sweetness and consistency. As a blend, it has to “Balance” the expectation of specialty familiar customer and also not specialty coffee drinker. What will be your steps in helping a café create a Custom House Blend? I’ll definitely be looking at who their customer-base is, who is drinking it, speak to them, get to understand what they like. You will ask me: “Why not jump straight into a Cupping Session? Why choose such an inefficient way? Cos some of my client don’t even know what they are looking for?" My answer, we want their customer’s opinion. Getting cheap and cost effective coffee isn’t my goal but they are ways around it. My priority is to get a coffee the client can be proud of, and yet introduce a new dimension of coffee to them. My approach is creating a blend from the End-User point-of-view. What do you want to see happen in the coffee industry in the next 5 years? More collaboration, create a more open-minded community, sharing information and coffee. Commune over coffee and talk about it, and I’ve seen that happen towards the end of last year. Recently we collaborated with Homeground Roaster, and I was asked for the first time by them, “Hey, have you ever roasted coffee with another roaster from another company?”, and that spirit of Collaboration/Community is what I truly loved. I want to see more people connect with the Barista, Roasters, Home Brewers. When we closed Tiny last year, we lost not only a shop space but a community. Coffee to me is a medium that connects and create a community of people & conversation. Is roasting the end goal for a Barista? Is it a nature progression? What is your advice? Do what you like, do what you are good at. There are many baristas that knows how to roast and can roast really well too. But everyone has a part to play in this industry. I love the technical side of roasting, I love the reach and influence I have as a roaster. Roasting is a lonely and repetitive job, but I love it! But if you love to connect with people and make coffee, continue to be a barista, be honest with yourself. Don’t force yourself into a role, because the interest will naturally come. Expose yourself to roasting and do it for awhile, and then ask yourself if you love it.

Great Coffee in Common: John Chew

John Chew, - Head Barista at China House, Penang   Describe the perfect setting to enjoy a coffee. There’s already nothing as perfect as a decent and easy cup of coffee. How did you get started in the coffee business? I do not own a cafe business for now. I...

Great Coffee in Common: Celine Lofamia

International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women around the world. With this in mind we are embarking on a new project to shine a light on the role that women play on creating your daily cup. With it we hope to challenge any perception...

Great Coffee In Common: Ibu Seri

International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women around the world. With this in mind we are embarking on a new project to shine a light on the role that women play on creating your daily cup. With it we hope to challenge any perception...

Great Coffee In Common: Carmen Yap

International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women around the world. With this in mind we are embarking on a new project to shine a light on the role that women play on creating your daily cup. With it we hope to challenge any perception...

Great Coffee in Common: Jonette George

Jonette George, Smudge Publishing In a few sentences, tell us what Smudge is all about. Smudge is a boutique publishing house celebrating culinary destinations throughout Australia and the world. We are a team of passionate foodies who love our coffee, our food and our drinks and are happy to share...

Great Coffee in Common: Ralph Dale Alfonso

Ralph Dale Alfonso, - Owner of Coffee Madness, Cebu    What do you think about competitors? do you treat them as one? It's good to have competitors in a healthy way, i see them as helpful competition in terms of developing skills, service and products. i dont really see them...

Great Coffee in Common: Tristan Michael Creswick

Tristan Michael Creswick, - Roaster at Cloud Catcher   Describe the perfect setting to enjoy a coffee. Espresso before the gym, milk based espresso as breakfast, and filter every other time. How did you get started in the coffee business? When I was 16 I got fired from the snowboard...

Great Coffee in Common: Jervis Tan

Jervis Tan, - Founder of Kinsmen Coffee, 1st place - SLAC 2015, 16, 17, 4th place - WLAC 2017. Why did you choose coffee as a profes­sion? It happened by chance actually. I was working as a waiter in my first F&B job but they were shorthanded, so I went behind...

Great Coffee in Common: Mai Eson

Mai Eson, - Head Barista, The Espresso Lab Dubai, 2015 coffee Nowhere Latte Art Champion, 2016 GoldBox Latte Art Throwdown Champion, 2016 Pellini Latte Art Champion, 2016 UAE Barista Champion, Ranked #20 at the World Barista Championship 2017 in Seoul Korea In your opinion what makes a good coffee? Good coffee is considered "Good", depending on...

Great Coffee in Common: Yoma Rivera

Yoma Rivera, - 28 HKS & The Curator, 2014 Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year,  3rd Place World Coffee in Good Spirits Singapore 2017 Who influenced you on your coffee journey? My friends and barista champions in Philippines Miko Simangan, Kevin Fortu and Aldrin Lumaban. Best ever coffee? Best...

Great Coffee in Common: Martin Hudak

Martin Hudak, -Senior Bartender & Barista at American Bar at The Savoy Hotel London. 2nd place WCIGS '14 Melbourne 2nd place WCIGS'16 Shanghai World Champion WCIGS'17 Budapest Who influenced/inspired you on your coffee journey? My guests at coffee shop back home in Slovakia. Level of coffee knowledge and passion about...

Great Coffee in Common: Tom Young

Tom Young, Roaster at Five Senses Coffee    Who influenced you on your coffee journey?: There have been a few people who have had quite an impact on my coffee experience, however I think the person who has kind of shaped me into the person I am now is none...

Great Coffee in Common: Joachim Leong & Shean Tan

Great Coffee In Common Joachim Leong & Shean Tan Owners/Baristas of Ome Space, Penang   Describe the perfect setting to enjoy a coffee. (Joachim) The perfect setting is not limited to one. Over time, for me, it has transitioned from café hopper to home brewer to barista. Sometimes, I forget...

GREAT COFFEE IN COMMON: BENNY KURNIA WINSEN

Any advice for someone who wants to start a café business? Willingness to serve is a must because Food and Beverage is a hospitality industry. Be your own self and calculate your costs carefully.