MOVING COFFEE FORWARD: A Q&A WITH EDMOND KEUNG OF MOVING COFFEE
Do you love coffee? I think I do, although I can’t say I’m terribly picky or know much of anything about coffee. I don’t mind admitting that I’m perfectly happy with the house blend that the free coffee machine in my office spits out. If I feel like a quick pick-me-up, I still default to grabbing a grande Pike from the nearest Starbucks. On the other hand, a tiny voice in my head has been telling me, “Dude, there’s got to be more to coffee than your stupid grande Pike.” That’s why it was a refreshing change to drive past not one but two Starbucks locations en route to our recent meet-up at Moving Coffee.
Tucked away in a commercial alleyway off West 1st Avenue and Fir Street in Vancouver, Moving Coffee’s space feels like a really low-key spot – almost like you would need to know “the password” to get it. There’s not much of a chance that people find them by accident, so it became clear pretty quickly that all of the customers coming and going regard Moving Coffee as their own little hidden gem that no one else can know about. One lady literally told us she hopes they don’t get too popular (umm, selfish much?).
Owners Edmond and Shirley met us on a recent chilly but sunny Sunday morning. Their doors weren’t officially open yet, but Edmond had long been at work preparing individual pour-overs for delivery to a nearby store that offers Moving Coffee to its customers. He speaks intelligently and confidently about his craft, like you would expect of a professional sommelier and fine wine. There is a certain purpose and sense of mastery to Edmond’s preparation and presentation of the coffee. The pair source and roast their own beans and they also host barista training workshops, tastings, and just about any coffee-centric event that one could think of. This is the difference between people who make/serve coffee and people who love coffee and care about its future. They say food is its best when made with love, and the coffee (and Shirley’s homemade cookies!) exemplifies this philosophy. Check out our quick Q&A with Edmond Keung, Founder and coffee wizard behind the counter of Moving Coffee.
TEAMCHOMP: Edmond, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how your interest in coffee led to the creation of Moving Coffee?
Edmond: I have been involved in the coffee industry for eight years. I have done various projects throughout the years, ranging from small cafe start ups, quality control from small shops to chain stores and hotel outlets. Green coffee to roasted coffee sourcing, barista training and essentially business development for the coffee sector. My excitement has consistently come through dealing with high quality, specialty-grade coffee. From sourcing green [coffee] for clients, providing suitable roasted coffees for cafes to brewing an individual cup for guests, every step is around specialty-grade coffee. Therefore, I am “Moving Specialty Coffee Forward” from one end to another.
How would you describe Moving Coffee for people visiting the first time?
We are driven by quality and focused on serving great-tasting black coffee. We want our guests to enjoy our available coffees with an open mind, and enjoy our crafted coffee without adding sugar. “Drink as it is served” would be a way to describe it. We focus on having different coffees from around the world, rather than creating different beverages. Essentially, we want our guests to try coffees from different places, countries, regions and varietals.
What do you think of the growing Vancouver coffee scene and how it differs from other places you may have visited?
Vancouver coffee culture reminds me of the 2011-2013 scene in Hong Kong. Many people are interested [in] high quality, specialty-grade coffee, seeking a coffee tasting adventure and actively pursuing how to brew coffees at home. The excitement and curiosity is strikingly similar. This scenery creates positive energy and will be beneficial to the future market. Educating customers specifically on coffee would be an important stage for us all.
Your Morning Whiskey Cold Brew coffee is quite a popular hit. How is it different from other cold brews on the market?
Instead of soaking coffee grounds in a large container, we carefully selected a handmade coffee drip tower that allows us to control the flow of water. Our Morning Whisky is rather created by droplets of water over 6 – 8 hours, enhancing complexity of [the] flavours. Drink as it is, like how you would have a whisky on its own or over ice.
What can we expect from Moving Coffee in the near future?
We will continue focus on our research and development in finding quality specialty-grade coffee. Drinking the best available coffee from its origins. We will bridge the gap between consumers to producers, allowing one end and another have a connection through us. We are hopeful we could grow our business and find our niche and specialized sector in our competitive market place.
129, 1628 W 1st Ave