Lok Chan - Founder and Roaster
It was 4 years ago that Lok Chan founded Craft Coffee Roaster and in that short period of time, he has taken home the Hong Kong Aeropress Championship title and most recently on a global level, first place in the World Cup Tasters Championships in Budapest, Hungary. “Competing gives me and my team a reason to play around, experiment and learn new approaches while we practice. It’s hard to describe that feeling in Hungary when I raised the final cup and saw the metallic star underneath symbolizing the correct pick. To be able to represent Hong Kong in front of the top coffee professionals in the world gives an overbearing sense of accomplishment.”
“It was around the time when I was in university that I started roasting my own coffee at home but didn’t really know what I was doing. I would try things like using a hacked oven or a pan and of course it wasn’t very good and far from consistent but I loved the process. At the time I was a printing consultant doing colour management and would spend a lot of my spare time reading about the theories behind roasting. When I finally decided to pursue this as a career, I flew to Taiwan for a 3 week course learning everything from green beans and roasting to cupping and brewing along with Tsuyoshi, founder of Accro Coffee, and Vincent, founder of Mainhouse Coffee. It’s interesting that we all learned from the same place but have each developed very different roasting styles.”
How would you describe your roasting style?
Not style per se but when developing the profile, I prioritize flavor over other considerations like balance and acidity.
What is your favorite region for coffee?
I like fruitier coffees and still really enjoy a natural processed Ethiopia from a higher elevation where the crops have less defects and tend to be fruitier and cleaner. I’m also really liking what a lot of the Costa Rican farmers are doing with their various forms of honey processing.
What is your preferred method of brewing your morning cup?
Either the v60 or the French Press. The French Press tends to get a bad reputation but I really like brewing with it because it is consistent and highly repeatable. It’s a little like the brewing equivalent of cupping.
What is your v60 recipe?
15 grams of coffee to 240ml of water at 91-93°C. Total brew time is usually 2:20-2:30 and I’ll adjust the grind according to how quickly or slowly it’s dripping.
What’s the secret to sharpening your sensory skills?
The best way to get started is with the mixed pack of Jelly Belly jelly beans. The flavours might seem artificial but a lot of times, the notes are actually close to what is being referenced in coffee.
What are you roasting with?
A Giesen W6A 6kg roaster.
What advice would you give to others interested in starting their own roastery?
Keep experimenting. By making mistakes along the way, you’ll be better prepared to tackle the problems that will inevitably come up in the future