In January, Edmond Keung and his wife were walking through an industrial neighborhood in Vancouver, B.C., when they stumbled across a bakery that had just opened its doors. As he popped his head inside to take a look, his eyes were immediately drawn to the EK 43 sitting on the bar. He glanced over at his wife and in that moment experienced what he now calls fate. He had found a new home for Moving Coffee.
Years before this fateful encounter, Keung started laying the groundwork for what would eventually become Moving Coffee. While he grew up in Vancouver, he was born in Hong Kong, where he returned to begin his career in coffee. In 2011, he became one of the first six people to receive a Q-grader certification in Hong Kong and used this experience and expertise to establish a consulting business. After working with local independent shops, chains, and hotels, Keung discovered his true passion: moving specialty-grade coffee forward. In 2012, he began roasting and named his business after his inspired maxim: Moving Coffee.
After moving back to Vancouver with his wife in 2014, Keung slowly began scaling up his business through pop-ups around the city. He now finds himself sharing space in Fife Bakery and taking his roasting business another step forward. The bakery/cafe is a small functional space housing both the bakery business and Keung’s coffee bar. A two-group Victoria Arduino Black Eagle is the showpiece of the room with two Mahlkönig EK 43s in contrasting black and white serving dual purposes, as Keung presents his coffee both as espresso and filter. His minimal menu lists “Black” and “White” options, with Curtis drip coffee and pour-overs prepared using a Bonavita Kettle and a copper vessel. However, most interesting of all is a third section of the menu labeled “Iced,” which features a peculiar item called Morning Whisky.
Through the extraction of slowly falling droplets, Keung uses a slow-drip tower from Korea’s CoffeeGa to create his own cold-brew coffee dubbed Morning Whisky. “The name comes from how I envision people drinking it,” he says. “Either neat, no cream or sugar, or over ice.” After hearing that the process takes six to eight hours to make a three-liter batch, it would be hard for anyone to resist the curiosity to taste it.
When Moving Coffee and Fife Bakery came together, the two businesses wanted to create a cohesive atmosphere for their customers. Fife’s Felix Yau had already designed the space and was actually serving coffee before Keung moved in. But with the addition of Moving Coffee, the cafe was able to upgrade and take its space to the next level. Inspired by his new partner, Yau began creating offerings such as the coffee bun, a simple yet delicious bread item with the soft texture and sweet filling of a pastry.
In an effort to diversify the business and make use of the large multifunctional warehouse space currently housing the roasting equipment and baking supplies, Keung has begun hosting regular coffee workshops. With his diverse experience in specialty coffee and his Q-grader certification, Keung is able to provide training on everything from coffee tastings to barista training and Q-level courses. The workshops are designed for all levels of experience—whether you are a passionate home brewer or a practicing professional.
When speaking about his business, Keung is the first to admit that Moving Coffee is still very new to Vancouver’s coffee scene and is changing and defining itself constantly. But the one thing that will never change is his mission to represent and put forth specialty coffee at its best. “I want to have different, exciting coffees when our customers come through the door,” he says. He achieves this by purposefully choosing and roasting coffees that no other local roasters are using. With his strong focus on high-quality roasting, Moving Coffee hopes to establish itself as a recognized roasting facility and to work toward growing to wholesale capacity.
“I want to move coffee forward,” he says. “From farm to roaster, coffee to shop, liquid to customer.” While Keung may have moved around a lot to arrive at his present situation, when it comes to his coffee, things are definitely moving in the right direction.
Peter de Vooght is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Read more Peter de Vooght on Sprudge.