New friends are always an interesting place to start. The crew at Eastgate Bakery and Cafe have been a dream to work with. There's a culture of learning among staff and management so strong that some folks are coming from other departments (upper management, accounting, bakery, kitchen, waitstaff) for coffee training. They're working to build a small roasting company from the ground up, with retail locations and wholesale operations on the horizon.
Currently, I'm putting in hours at Eastgate with an apprentice, getting him up to speed to eventually take over production roasting. After some time, there will be a Quality Control department, training and education lead, production facility and new coffee brand.
They'll get their own post soon - they will be exciting to watch as they get this project off of the ground.
[a] cafe, a comfy cafe tucked into one of my favorite neighborhoods in Saigon's district 1. Truc Nguyen is a well-known Vietnamese visual artist who has taken a keen interest in coffee, especially in the craft aspects. He is a fan of glass cold brew towers, pour overs and siphons, with an eye on learning more about roasting coffee. Truc and I collaborated with Michael Wood and Cana Little (fi-lan-thro-pe) to create a tasting event at [a] cafe that showcased coffees from around Asia. The event made it onto a morning news show!
Other things of note (which will all get their own posts soon!):
Coffee Academy (Coffee Lab)! Roasting Machines made in Vietnam! New Coffees!
A Trip to the USA! and more...