Main House Coffee
“The key to being a good roaster is the strength of our relationships with baristas and customers.”
“I was a mechanical engineer by trade for many years until the company started cutting jobs and moving work to other countries. I guess you could say it was a blessing in disguise because it took me down this coffee journey that led me to where I am. At that time, I bought a sample roaster to play around with, roasting 100 grams at a time, and pretty quickly I realized this was something I wanted to do full time.
Back then, classes in Hong Kong were far and few and Taiwan’s coffee culture was a lot more mature so along with a group of others from Hong Kong, we flew to Taiwan to learn how to brew and roast from a coffee master. Our instructor was a truly great person; even long after leaving Taiwan, he would continue to support and coach his students to make sure they were all successful in their endeavors. I’m truly grateful that he was there as a mentor. The Taiwanese 4kg roaster that I’m still using to this day was also introduced by him.
The key to being a good roaster is the strength of our relationships with baristas and customers. It’s our job to understand what flavors they’re looking for and to work with them to bring those notes out through brewing.”
What does the name Main House mean?
Main House is a phonetic translation of my Chinese name “Ming” and ‘house’ was because I was actually roasting out of my own home in the beginning. “
Which is your favorite coffee region?
I like Costa Ricas for the things because of the advancements they’re making in honey processing. You’re able to get a coffee that is more acidic than natural coffees, but less so than washed ones.
Which part of the coffee process do you enjoy the most?
Searching for a coffee’s roasting profile. Getting all the parameters correct can take 1.5- 2 months but that it’s such a great feeling when you find the right combination that brings out the best in the beans.
What’s your favorite brew method?
I like use the traditional Japanese nel drip. The process is slower than when using a paper filter dripper but once you can properly control it, the resulting aroma, body and mouthfeel are richer and smoother than with other method. When I’m testing roast batches I’ll use the V60 though because it’s the most common tool.
You’ve competed and placed in roasting competitions in the past. Why did you do it?
Once I felt like I have a good grasp on the craft, I wanted to test myself and see how I would fare compared to others in the industry. It was also a fun way to meet and earn from other like minded professionals.
What is your pourover recipe?
For both V60 and nel drip, I use 16g of coffee to 250ml of water, grinding a little coarser and with a lower temperature of 86 °c