Jake Hu - Founder
Taiwan has long held the reputation of being a coffee lover’s paradise and it’s capital Taipei is at the center of the blossoming scene. Their affinity to coffee dates back to 1845 when the Japanese occupied the island and brought with them an appreciation of fine coffees. Jake Hu is considered amongst those in the industry to be one of the leaders in the specialty coffee movement. Not only is his coffee widely used in Taiwan and beyond, but he has been around the competition circuit as a head judge for regional and world events for close to a decade.
“Growing up in Taiwan, coffee was always present. The culture here is an interesting one – it’s a blend of several influences from around the world but has since evolved into its own unique style. The world of specialty coffee caught my attention while I was doing my master degree program and I ended up transitioning from Biotechnology R&D, to working my first job in the industry as a consultant for an Illy distributor. After judging coffee competitions for several years, I started Taster’s Coffee back in 2011, with the idea that I could create a shop focused on brewing the best coffee, one cup at a time and providing a customer experience that shares our passion. We also designed the space to keep training and consulting as a priority.”
What is it that you like the most about coffee?
The idea of being able to transform different types of green beans into coffee that has such different characteristics.
How did you learn to roast coffee?
I first learned from Mané Alves, the founder of Coffee Lab International and then built on that knowledge by reading articles and simply testing by trial and error.
What roasting machine do you use?
A Diedrich IR-5 and a Black Flame direct-fire 3.6 kg roaster.
What do you look to achieve when roasting?
Striking a balance between sweetness and bringing out the origin characteristics of the coffee.
What is your favourite brewing device?
I’ve been working closely with the creators of a new dripper called the Lili Filter and it’s become my go-to brewing tool. It’s a ceramic dripper with 48 channels that guides the water down to 8 holes and should be available soon!
What is your go-to pour over recipe?
16g Coffee to a total of 240ml of water (1:15 ratio). I use 88°C water starting with 30ml for the bloom, followed by two pours: 90ml and then 120ml. The output should result in approximately 160-180ml of coffee.
If I didn’t live in Taipei, I would want to live in...
Kyoto, it’s a beautiful blend of traditional and modern worlds and it’s nice and relaxing. There’s also plenty of excellent coffee!