Keith Fong, Founder and Roaster
In a city better known as the Vegas of the east, Keith Fong of Blooom Coffee Roasters has been making strides to push the specialty coffee scene in Macau since opening shop in 2011. “I grew up in Macau but picked up an affinity for coffee during my undergraduate with my first specialty coffee experience being in Stockholm, Sweden. After multiple trips to Europe and becoming an SCAE certified professional and trainer, I wanted to help move specialty coffee forward in Macau. A lot of people think that coffee is very new to Macanese people but there has been a local coffee culture for a long time – the local style was just more towards heavily roasted, darker coffees.”
“During the initial planning stage for Blooom, we wanted to provide more than just a space where coffee lovers can turn to and explore coffee from around the world; we also wanted to offer a stage for talented baristas to practice, develop and showcase their skills. Starting out, we only had 2 staff members but we’ve since expanded to 3 shops: Blooom, Single Origin and Communal Table”
“I believe that the art of coffee and the processes involved can be as innovative and complex as cooking. Two cappuccinos can taste drastically different even when they are made by the same barista because the flavours in a cup of coffee can vary due to a range of factors, not least of which is the quality of the ingredients. How the beans are roasted is also crucial to this process and the reason why we do all our roasting in-house.”
What are you roasting with?
I started with a 1kg Toper roaster that I still use for small batch specialty and ultra premium coffee. Our 6kg Giesen is used for our main production and an Ikawa for sample roasting.
How did you learn to roast coffee?
Practice, practice, practice. I picked up the basic roasting concepts from the book “Home Coffee Roasting” by Kenneth Davids and expanded on that through the SCAE coffee diploma system. My roaster friends have also been key to my learning as we exchange ideas around roasting.
Which region is your favorite for coffee?
Ethiopia for flavour and Central America for mouthfeel and taste balance.
How do you brew your morning cup?
Most of the time it’s with my v60.
What's your go to pourover recipe?
There isn’t a fixed recipe that I stick by but I usually start with 14g of coffee to 230ml of water at 90-92°C degrees and adjust from there. Every coffee is different but I aim for a total brew time of about 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
Are there any roasters that you look up to?
Kyoto, Japan. I love the history of the city, the atmosphere and the environment.
“If I wasn’t in the coffee industry, I would want to be a _________?