黄冠峰，太平洋咖啡咖啡讲师 & PCCBC冠军 － Benson，Barista & Coffee Lecturer & PCCBC Winner, Pacific Coffee, Guangzhou.
DB：您从什么时候开始发现自己喜欢做咖啡？When did you become aware of your interest in making coffees?
I like to go and visit various cafes. Every time I see the barista in the coffee bar-counter making delicate coffees, I find that fascinating and super cool. In 2011, I was in the middle of job hunting. I tried to work in the office, but it failed as I considered myself outgoing and communicative and I had been dreaming of being a professional coffee-maker. So I decided to take it as my profession.
DB：刚开始时，您是如何学习做咖啡的呢？At the very beginning, how did you learn to make coffee？
When I began to learn to make coffee, I turned to books for help as reading, for me, is rather money-saving and learning effective. A book carries an author’s whole life of empirical practice, and I benefited a lot from reading various books. In addition, I will garner my coffee knowledge by watching videos. Back at that time, China witnessed the underdevelopment of coffee industry, not to mention the ways to master such a skill. So I would use VPN to watch videos from the foreign websites. I was very intrigued by Latte Art, so I would watch Japanese Latte Art videos as Japan is an expert in Latte Art. Also, I would watch videos of Thai coffee-makers producing creative coffees. Regarding espresso, I would watch some videos of those brilliant Italian baristas.
DB：说到浓缩咖啡，能从一个浅显的角度与我们谈谈为什么浓缩咖啡会那么苦吗？Speaking of espresso, could you explain why it is so bitter while tasting it?
The reason why espresso is so bitter is that when people are making espresso, the coffee bean powder needs to be richly extracted with high pressure. The traditional Italian espresso tastes intense and strong, which naturally brings out a strong sense of bitterness, making people find it unamiable for their tastebud. However, a cup of fine espresso is the foundation of a cup of fine Italian coffee, which can be paired with Latte, Cappuccino and as such. For sure, expresso can flawlessly be presented with the purest taste. A cup of fine espresso is topped with a brush of golden grease, which is already a perfect presentation.
DB：作为太平洋咖啡咖啡师比赛的冠军，您在进修制作咖啡技术期间曾遇到过什么困难吗？ As a winner of PCCBC, what difficulties have you come across when learning how to improve your coffee-making skills?
我第一次参赛的时候，不知道该如何准备比赛和展现自己的咖啡知识与技能，因为带着新手学习的心态去比赛，反而让那时的压力相对比较少。而去年第二次去比赛时，因为积攒了比赛经验并且有了更大的抱负和期望，因此压力倍增。去年的比赛是华南区第一次承办的公司全球规模咖啡师技能大赛——PCCBC（Pacific Coffee Barista Championship），而我正好是以队长的身份带队代表华南区参加比赛，我所带领的团队包括我在内一共有6位咖啡师参赛，所以压力很大。但是我们的团队充分发挥互帮互助的精神，积极沟通并相互切磋，当我们得知比赛使用的咖啡机和我们平时训练的机器不同时，通过领导和同事们的协调帮助，最终让我有机会采用比赛相同用机进行训练，最后发挥很好获得了冠军。
When I first took part in the competition, I didn’t know how to get myself prepared and present my coffee knowledge as well as coffee-making skills. I had less pressure at that time as I saw myself as a learner in that competition. However, when I participated in the competition last year, I had more pressure than ever as I had learned so much in the previous competition and held a more ambitious expectation on myself and the team for this championship. PCCBC (Pacific Coffee Barista Championship) in the last year showed its debut in the Southern China, and I was quite stressful as I happened to lead the team that included 6 members in total. But luckily, we cooperated and communicated well with each other; we helped each other to overcome difficulties in the entire process. When we knew that the coffee-making machine we would use in the competition differed from the one we were using, our directors got us the same machine as the one in the contest and so we could make use of it during preparation. In end, we brought our “A game” in the contest and won the championship.
DB：能和我们简要说说比赛的过程吗？Could you briefly tell us how the PCCBC proceed?
The competition flow runs as follows: each competitor has 15 minutes to prepare 12 cups of coffee – 4 cups of creative coffee drinks, 4 cups of milk coffee and 4 cups of espresso. While making the coffees, baristas need to illustrate their philosophy of each cup of coffee, for instance, how you perceive the concept of coffee, your pursuit of the taste of the coffee, what coffee beans you are using and what are their stories and how to apply “plus and minus” to your coffee making. This information allows the jury to know the story behind the coffee you are making, which helps them understand your concept while tasting your coffee.
DB：您是通过什么机缘加入了太平洋咖啡？为什么呢？How and why did you join Pacific Coffee?
As early as 25 years ago, Pacific Coffee was born in Hong Kong and became a well-known brand representing high-quality coffee in Hong Kong. Every time I went to Hong Kong, I would visit Pacific Coffee and enjoy a cup of fine coffee there. Their cosy environment, professional services and wonderful coffees have won my heart. After 2010, Pacific Coffee was acquired by China Resources and officially entered the Chinese mainland market in 11 years. I then seized this opportunity to become a coffee-maker in Pacific Coffee after one-year hard work in cultivating my coffee-making skills. I hope that I can further improve my professional knowledge and coffee-making skills with the assistance of Pacific Coffee.
DB：作为一名资深的咖啡师，您会向顾客推荐太平洋咖啡的哪些咖啡饮品？As an experienced barista, what coffees would you recommend to customers in Pacific Coffee?
I will recommend pour-over coffee, especially the recent ones that have been listed in Pacific Coffee. Pour-over coffee represents the “third wave” of coffee revolution, which enables coffee-lovers to enjoy the most original taste of coffee. Due to the rigid material selection standards, we only recommend several highly-rated single-bean coffees, such as “Drima Zede” and “Romich”. Also, Pacific Coffee exclusively offers one-to-one pour-over-coffee service. While making pour-over coffees, the coffee maker will introduce the origin, the characteristics and even the story of the beans. It is fairly true that a cup of pour-over coffee in Pacific Coffee, new coffee knowledge a day! If you love coffee drinks, we are proud to recommend to you our milk coffee – Latte Art. Each coffee-maker wears our uniform where the rank badge for Latte Art is well demonstrated. You can make a request for various Latte Art drinks based on coffee-makers’ rank badges. In addition, TaiKoo Hui’s Pacific Coffee Brew Bar provides such unique coffee drinks as bubble coffees (espresso mixed with tonic water) and limited ice drip coffee (24-hour brewing).
DB：咖啡对于您来说是什么？是一种对生活的热情还是一份恒久的事业，或两者皆是？How do you perceive coffee? Is it more of a lifetime passion, a career or both?
I think both. I started it because I love it, so I become a barista. After joining Pacific Coffee, I have been given many opportunities. In the process of enhancing my coffee-making skills, I gradually form a barista team of mine and a set of coffee-making training, which motivates me to turn what I have been passionate about into a career and to keep doing it.
DB：咖啡培训一直是一个很火的话题，太平洋咖啡对内和对外都有开设自己的培训课程，能和我们分享一下吗？ Coffee training courses have been popular among the public. Pacific Coffee has its own training program for its baristas and members, could you give us a brief introduction?
I would like to make coffee training my future career as it is beneficial for my personal growth as well as a chance to help Pacific Coffee establish a new team of the baristas. Our company’s internal training aims to develop newly-enrolled baristas’ coffee-making skills and professional knowledge. For our members, we have a “coffee school” certified by SCAE in Shanghai, where well-equipped facilities and excellent instructors are tailor-madely provided. All PCC members sign up for various courses and experience the learning of coffee culture and basic coffee-making.
DB：我们能从什么渠道了解更多‘太平洋咖啡’？Where can we get more information about Pacific Coffee?
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