Cafe of the Week: Uncle Bear Coffee Company

Thursday, 18 February, 2016
Uncle Bear Coffee Company
112 Long Street, AAA House Building

Interview by Wayne Oberholzer
All photos by Justin Groep

There’s a new Uncle in town... and he ain’t a part of no furniture business. I was fortunate enough to watch Albert grow in his passion for coffee first hand; he was a common feature behind the manual brew bar at Origin coffee HQ. He graciously allowed me to sit down with him and get some more insight into his coffee mind.

Albert, thank you for taking your time to sit with me and answer some questions.

Firstly, who is Uncle Bear coffee?

It's sounds exactly as it is. It's your entrusted Uncle who will help you with your coffee journey to the fullest appreciation.

Where and how did your coffee journey start?

I always had a weird relationship with coffee. I started drinking instant coffee when I was like 5, filter coffee in primary school and then onto Starbucks, 85c, Seattle coffee and Vida coffee. Later I learnt about manual brews with single origin coffee. Playing with Syphon, V60, French press, Aeropress and Chemex.

Up until I got introduced to Origin Coffee Roastery and what speciality coffee is all about (credit to professor Mac Donald and General Lovejoy), it was then that I knew the path I was destined to follow.

What coffee are you currently enjoying at the moment?

Musasa Dukundekawa Mbilima (Rwanda). Tons of Passion fruit and tropical fruits flavours. A fantastic fully washed coffee that has been dried on screens.

What is your coffee “weapon”, brew method, of choice?

Maybe because of my awesome Asian Taiwanese heritage, V60 pour over is always my “weapon of choice”

Clean, fruity, floral and sweet after taste that lingers around your mouth. I tend to use particular size a little finer the sugar grind with a ratio range from 1:12 - 1:15.

Top 5 Songs to listen to whilst making coffee?

I am super focused while making coffee. Grinding coffee sounds like to music to my ears. The flow of water on the coffee bed and through the filter are like musical notes to me. Its pure musical bliss.

Whats your advice for people wanting to start a shop or get into coffee?

Leave the romance of coffee to your client’s experience. Understand full well that the café or shop, is all about the numbers and getting the backend working.

Where do you think the next big coffee trend is going to be?

A hybrid of 2nd and 3rd wave coffee experiences. Allowing the customer to enjoy the coffee their way. However they still have an appreciation for the effort from seed to cup.

I would love to see more coffee based “cocktails”, almost drawing in signature drinks and styles more into the café environment.

Your favourite coffee region?

Africa! The birth place all the coffee gods like Rwanda Musasa Dukunde Mbilima, Kenya Rumukia AA, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe etc etc etc

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