Cupping Room Coffee Roasters

Tammy Lu

Head Roaster at Cupping Room

In the beginning, it wasn't a love for coffee that brought Tammy into the industry. Rather, it was the experiences she had visiting cafes in Australia during a working holiday. "I really enjoyed the mood and vibes of coffee shops while I was in Sydney - the happy faces, the aroma of fresh coffee, and the sounds of the espresso machines in the background," said Tammy. "There was a sudden moment where I thought I'd like to work in an environment like this and so, I started looking for a cafe job in Hong Kong. I've never worked this industry before that and I was a true amateur." 

That search led Tammy to Cupping Room upon her return to Hong Kong, marking the start of her 8 year journey from being an accountant to the Head Roaster of Cupping Room. "I didn't really even drink coffee in my first two years at Cupping Room but Kapo's (Cupping Room's founder) passion for coffee made me fall in love with the whole process from sourcing to brewing. I was intrigued to know more about the nuances of coffee and every step that led to the smiles of satisfied customers when they take a sip of coffee. I learned how to roast from Kapo while he still headed Cupping Room. We would roast and cup coffee every day, discussing ways that we could improve - it was truly a really fun time.

What roaster are you using?
The Probat UG15 is my first and favourite roaster. I also use a Loring S35, San Franciscan Roaster, and Ikawa for sample roasting.  

How would you describe your roasting style?
My style is light to medium roasting level with great aroma, sweetness and clarity of flavour.  

What's your favorite way of brewing coffee?
A hand drip coffee every morning.  

What is your pourover recipe?  
My usual brew recipe with a Melitta dripper is: 15g coffee to 250g water in 93°C with 7 pours broken down in 40g, 40g, 40g, 40g, 40g, 20g, 30g with a draw down in 2:30-2:45. I grind with a Comandante hand grinder around 27 clicks.

What’s your favorite region for coffee?
There are numerous regions with countless styles of processings nowaday, but an Ethiopia Guji will always be my comfort coffee.  

What are your thoughts on the Hong Kong coffee scene?
Everything is good except the cost for everything. People in Hong Kong have good taste and great ideas, but the cost stops them from dreaming. I think the coffee scene in Hong Kong is getting less dynamic than before, with fewer and fewer people who are truly passionate about coffee to get into the scene.  

How do you spend your time outside of Cupping Room?
I love outdoor activities like hiking and camping. I brew coffee when camping which is another way I enjoy coffee in my life.  

“If I didn’t work in the coffee industry, I would want to be a _______________”  
Traveler (but it sounds expensive so I will stay here for now)

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