“Coffee is art while coffee farmers, roasters and baristas are the craftsmen.”
After moving back from Toronto, Alvin pursued his passion in lifestyle by working for Lane Crawford as a merchandiser while part time as a barista at Amical Café in Admiralty. It was there at the coffee shop where he built the foundation of his knowledge in coffee and met his business partner, a customer at the time, ultimately leading to the start of their own roastery in Tsuen Wan.
“A key for us in sourcing the best green beans is to trade directly with farms from around the world”, says Alvin. “Since we opened the roastery, we’ve had the opportunity to visit a number of farms and work with them directly, providing feedback to improve the quality of the coffee while ensuring that they’re fairly paid for their efforts. The process also enables us to learn about their farms and regions and with this understanding, develop better roasting curves. The relationships we’ve built by working with these farms directly has allowed for access to higher quality lots in advance.”
His vision for Inferno Dynamics comes back to his passion for lifestyle. “I see lifestyle as an appreciation of craftsmanship, taking the time to understand the theory and message of each product”, says Alvin. “The way I see it, coffee is art and the coffee farmers, roasters and baristas are the craftsmen. The best cup of coffee is the collection of their expertise.”
What’s your favorite way of brewing coffee?
If I’m not in a rush, I like using the traditional Japanese Nel drip.
You’ve competed and placed in last year’s Brewers Cup Championships. What was your winning recipe?
I was using a ceramic Melitta along with a Bonovita Electric gooseneck kettle. 17g of coffee beans to extract 272g of coffee for a 1:16 ratio and a brew time of 2m 30secs using 94 degrees celsius of water. We stirred the soaked grounds to increase the extraction time as well as lengthening the immersion time to extract more of the complex flavours.
Tell us about the coffee you’ve selected for this month’s box.
The Ethiopia Kochere G2 were beans that showed me how beautiful and complex coffee can be. Since then, it has always been one of my favourite districts in Ethiopia. This Kochere in particular has a very good balance of floral notes and citrus flavours with a tea like tactile and sweet aftertaste. Complex, smooth and refined.
The Ethiopia Guji Natural is one of the beans from our direct trade projects and one of the best Ethiopian natural I have tasted. It has very complex flavours, enhanced berries and dry fruit flavour along with a floral aroma. Juicy and smooth body with a long lingering sweet aftertaste.
How do you spend your spare time?
I don’t really have much spare time anymore; it’s always about coffee now. I used to ride in Toronto and I’ve been meaning to get back into it here but the groups usually meet at night and we start too early.
What does ‘lifestyle’ mean to you?
Being original and authentic to who you are.
What’s next for Inferno Dynamics?
We have a big project launching in the 3rd quarter of 2017 so stay tuned!