Coffee Master Yu-chuan Jacky Lai: The Pride of Kaohsiung/咖啡職人賴昱權 高雄之光


Coffee Master Yu-chuan Jacky Lai: The Pride of Kaohsiung

◎English translation: Wendy Wei Chang

◎Photos by Huang Ching-wen


賴昱權檢視咖啡豆Mr. Lai checks the beans  Coffee beans emit their first crack in the roasting room. The roasting process is almost finished, and the room is filled with the aroma of coffee. Coffee roaster Mr. Yu-chuan Jacky Lai checks the beans to determine if the aroma is sufficiently distinct, while simultaneously discarding bad beans.

  Mr. Lai was named 2014 World Coffee Roasting Champion at the World Coffee Events (WCE). Visiting him at his coffeeshop OH! Cafe around noon, his place of business looks like a science lab. The walls are covered with what seem to be math formulas, drafted by Mr. Lai and his partners as part of their efforts to come up with the best roasting processes and time frames. Developed after many experiments, they now use these formulas as their standard roasting procedures.

  Mr. Lai says the purpose of coffee roasting is, "to translate coffee beans into great flavors." According to him, the key elements of coffee roasting include the coffee not having any raw, astringent, bitter, or burnt flavors.

  "Drink the best coffee, or drink mediocre coffee!" says Mr. Lai, pointing out that one has to learn how to taste coffee before starting to study it. He utilizes all his coffee-related knowledge and has devoted himself to roasting the most delicious coffee beans. His routine is to roast coffee beans for eight hours every other day; his dedication and discipline are hard to imagine.

  A cup of delicate coffee embodies Mr. Lai's countless hours of hard work. In 2014, Mr. Lai was not only the World Coffee Roasting Champion, but also was accredited as an Authorized Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) Coffee Roasting Trainer, a Specialty of Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Certified Cupping Judge, and a Licensed Q Grader from the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI). Mr. Lai makes sure his customers are able to enjoy the best coffee. He takes all criteria into consideration, including the taste of ground coffee beans and brewed coffee, the aftertaste and fragrance remaining in the throat, the balance between sweetness and acidity, as well as the acidity, richness, and aroma.

檢視咖啡品質Mr. Lai checks beams' quality.  Before a cup of coffee is presented to a customer, its contents undergo a long journey. From green coffee beans, coffee flavors, roasting, grinding to brewing, there is a deliberate connection between every step.

  Mr. Lai says he prefers Ethiopian coffee beans with high acidity. To him, coffee without acidity has no soul. Mr. Lai says Taiwanese people are not used to acidity in coffee, but more and more can accept this kind of taste after he explains how important acidity is to coffee tasting. Mr. Lai is now more willing to share acidic coffee with fellow coffee-lovers.

  This February, Mr. Lai introduced his brand COACHEF to the commercial coffee-bean market. The brand has won popularity nationwide, and Mr. Lai's drip-bag coffee has sold in supermarkets around Taiwan since this May. Applying his professional knowledge and roasting skills, Mr. Lai strives to make every cup of coffee delicious.

  "Kaohsiung definitely has the potential to become a City of Coffee." says Mr. Lai. Kaohsiung residents have won two of the seven championships organized by the WCE, showing the city has many talented coffee baristas. Kaohsiung also has the advantage of offering some of the best coffee available in Taiwan, attracting coffee lovers from all over to visit!


OH! Cafe
No. 5, Binhai 2nd Road, Gushan    
District, Kaohsiung City


烘焙咖啡Roasting coffee咖啡職人賴昱權 高雄之光





  午間造訪這位2014 年WCE世界盃咖啡大賽「烘豆項目」冠軍的賴昱權,就在他所開設的「握咖啡」咖啡店。彷彿科學實驗室般,牆上寫滿看似數學公式般的算式,是賴昱權與夥伴分析咖啡豆,測試出最佳的烘焙手法和時間,作為烘豆依據。

  「烘焙之於咖啡,就如同『翻譯』,烘焙體現咖啡最好的風味」,這是賴昱權對烘焙這道程序的詮釋,同時也不吝傳授烘焙咖啡的關鍵技巧,就是不宜有生、澀、苦、焦這4 個味道。



烘焙體現咖啡最好的風味Roasting brings out coffee's best flavors.  咖啡從產地到消費者手上,歷程很長,從生豆、對咖啡風味的感官、烘焙、研磨到沖煮,每個環節都環環相扣。


  今(2015)年2月,賴昱權以COACHEF品牌進軍商務豆市場,廣受好評;今年5 月他將推出掛耳式濾泡咖啡,並在國內連鎖超市上市。咖啡專業做後盾,賴昱權悉心烘製出咖啡的美好風味。