How do you take your coffee?
A v60 pour-over of Balzac’s single origin Colombian Las Rosas blend. For espresso, a cortado would be my go-to coffee drink.
Tell us about some of the challenges (and joys!) of being a coffee entrepreneur/member of the coffee community?
The joys of being a member of the coffee community is the people and its culture. I’ve experienced it firsthand during the lockdown where our cafés and roasteries had to adapt by switching over from brick and mortar to operating digitally. The digital space became an important hub to share coffee knowledge, media, and maintain these cherished connections. Consumption habits were also another change, as we saw a huge popularity in the coffee subscription category and the rise of interactive, fun ways to enjoy coffee with others digitally.
Seeing our coffee community thrive through these challenges and adopt new ways to spread the love of coffee was a huge motivation for many. It has personally helped me stay engaged by learning and exchanging newfound coffee knowledge with the community. This is my way of supporting the coffee industry, with the final goal of creating unique coffee moments to savour, whether at home or café.
How has being part of the BIPOC/LGBTQ+ or other marginalized group strengthened or challenged your experience in Canadian coffee?
Being a part of the Asian community, as well as someone who lived in Asia for half of my life, I have experienced coffee culture in both regions. As a member of the coffee community, I feel encouraged and empowered to bring the highlights of Asian coffee culture to share with the Canadian coffee community. As we continue to promote diversity, I have observed progressive growth in the introduction of different kinds of consumption methods experienced in various parts of Asia, such as Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and China. This exposure of coffee culture is a welcoming change, it is an important step to further educate, create exposure, and proper representation to the diverse Canadian coffee market.
If you could work towards ONE thing to increase diversity & inclusion in Canadian coffee, what would this be?
I am a strong believer that change does not come from one single person but working together as a group to achieve a collective goal. The coffee community, largely the CAC and the SCA Canadian Chapter have taken huge strides in the recent years to provide continuous support in building and showcasing marginalized groups in the coffee community. The efforts of diversity & inclusion of BIPOC members can really be felt, as we see an increasing number of marginalized groups taking on leadership roles. With this welcome change in the industry, I hope BIPOC members will feel empowered and continue to pave the way to increase diversity & inclusion in the Canadian coffee landscape.