bumi Senior Member Joined: 25 Mar 2014 Posts: 5 Location: Bali Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: AeroPress Grinder: Baratza Preciso Drip: Kalita Wave Set
Posted Tue Mar 25, 2014, 1:45am Subject: Japan, Taiwan & Korea: what is the must-go coffee places there?
Hi coffeegeeks —
I'm doing a documentary on the rise of artisan coffee culture around Asia, and I'd appreciate your recommendation on the who's who, and where's where of the old/new coffee roasters, shops, machine producers, festivals, competitions (basically everything about specialty coffee) in those regions?
If you are an industry player, I'd love to get in touch and talk to you. I have a very short list and recommendations in Tokyo & Taipei, and I would love to expand it and share it all with you here.
alanfrew Senior Member Joined: 19 Dec 2001 Posts: 645 Location: Melbourne Expertise: Professional
Posted Tue Mar 25, 2014, 2:58am Subject: Re: Japan, Taiwan & Korea: what is the must-go coffee places there?
Good luck with that. Taiwan and Japan were doing "specialty coffee" before Erna Knutsen coined the term in 1974. There are very good reasons that the best single origin specialty beans end up in Tokyo and Taipei year after year, based on relationships forged half a century or more ago. On the other hand, they don't promote it, no festivals, competitions etc., they just do it. UCC Ueshima should be your first stop.
Chang94598 Senior Member Joined: 24 Oct 2007 Posts: 213 Location: SF Bay Area
Posted Mon Apr 14, 2014, 10:46pm Subject: Re: Japan, Taiwan & Korea: what is the must-go coffee places there?
For Taipei, these are a few I have tried or found excellent. There are many others I just did not have enough time to visit.
Fika Fika. Winner of BOTH espresso and filer coffee at the Nordic Roaster Competition 2013. Not much talked about here, but I hope they post their roasting technique.
Gabee. Winner of several Taiwan Barista Championships and owner is known for his latte art.
L’apre’s midi Café. Lever, lever, lever!
Zhanlu Coffee. Several shops. Each shop specializes in different coffee preparation. One specializes in moka pots I found fun.
Coffee Sweet. Very light roast, roasted on electric roaster. Owner has his roasting philosophy and does not like gas-powered roasters. Had been doing light roast before selling "cupping" roast becomes trendy here in the US. :)
The above are the new 3rd wave cafes. For traditional old Taipei, try Fong Da, and right next to it (talk about competition!) Nan Mei.
For roasting equipments, however they are not in Taipei, but in Taichung. There are Yang Chia and Kapok, and a few others. Yang Chia machines are seen ubiquitously in many shops and used in Taiwanese roast competitions. There are many coffees scored >90 points on CoffeeReview roasted with this machine. The Kapok is unique in one can set the temperature and let the machine do the heating part instead of adjusting gas.
JamesInTaiwan Senior Member Joined: 12 Jun 2012 Posts: 12 Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Espresso: Rocket Giotto Premium Plus Grinder: Baratza Vario, Flying Eagle... Drip: Aeropress Roaster: Whirley Pop
Posted Tue Jul 1, 2014, 6:41pm Subject: Re: Japan, Taiwan & Korea: what is the must-go coffee places there?
I enjoy Magic Lamp coffee in Taipei, Xinyi district. There is another place in Taipei, Tienmu called Haaya coffee. The owner is a registered cupper. Lastly there is a very interesting 3rd wave shop by Sun Yat Sen memorial. Forget the name but it's down an alley near there.
Posted Wed Jul 2, 2014, 7:05am Subject: Re: Japan, Taiwan & Korea: what is the must-go coffee places there?
Here's one for the avid homeroaster:
Worker Cafe-Taipei (02)2571-8997 also known as Proworker and builds the "cube" roaster. Tao-Yao Cheng
I've been following his blog for a few years, so it wasn't like I found it by accident.
His shop is an un-impressive looking place on a small side street. He's got an older cube roaster in the corner and syphon bar up front. Mr. Cheng speaks no English, my Taiwanese niece came along and is starting to learn cupping. Her boyfriend's a barista in Korea.
So I'm asking about the machines and what kind of basic profiles like drop-in temps, turning point, etc,etc. Mr. Cheng laughs a little and smiles "I don't use profiles". Just follow the bean color and development. Now of course we're having some translation issues, my niece knows little about coffee roasting.
Mr Chen starts breaking out some Ethiopians both washed and dry process. Apparently Taiwanese people do not favor DP Ethiopians but we had some he roasted. The ground color was the lightest I've ever seen and get this, he roasted a washed Ethiopian in 10 minutes and finished the roast before the first burst of 1C. OK, really? The roast question was asked three more times just to be sure. The coffee was roasted perfectly; not underdeveloped and the coffee's were prepped on the syphon bar.
Unfortunately if you can't speak Chinese or have a friend to translate, don't bother going. Other thing, you need to call ahead and make an appointment, as he runs two cafe's.
Mr. Cheng's been doing this a long time, I think it would be fair to call him a Taiwanese Roastmaster.
I've had exceptional coffee at places that I forget the next time people ask, but there are those where I had the best of time — which I often don't forget — without that exceptionally good coffee, but the story & the man/woman behind it.
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