Today's featured inteview in the Sprudge Twenty series is Shih Ru Wang, the owner of Just Go Coffee and Cho Cafe in Taiwan. Shih Ru Wang's influence on the specialty coffee industry spans decades, as a prominent founder, entrepreneur, and decorated specialty coffee competition competitor representing Taiwan.
Shih Ru Wang has been roasting specialty coffee since 2005 in Taiwan, where she is the owner of Just Go Coffee Roastery and Cho Café. She is the first female Asian in the Leadership Council of Coffee Roaster Guild from 2020-2021, and in 2020, she worked with Taiwan ICDF (International Cooperation and Development Fund) to use crowdfunding platform to raise money for micro farm in Guatemala. She is also a talented barista, and has placed well in many national and international coffee competitions, including first place in the 2013 Taiwan Roasting Championship, third in the 2013 World Coffee Roasting Championship, and first place in the 2015 Taiwan Brewers Cup.
Nominated by Melissa Kao
How have the challenges of this last year informed your work?
I thought the biggest challenges of COVID-19 have forced us to transform a lot of works from off-line to on-line, which might not be the bad thing though. However, it bothers me the most for not going to the origin and talk to the farmers working for the new crops.
What issue in coffee do you care about most?
What cause or element in coffee drives you?
I think it's always the relationship between the farmers and customers move the world forward day by day.
What issue in coffee do you think is critically overlooked?
Processing. It supposed to bring out the best flavor of green beans. However it become more complicated and reproduce another new bean that we can't hardly taste the terroir of its origin.
What is the quality you like best about coffee?
clean and floral, bright acidity, wash coffee, simple and easy
Did you experience a “god shot” or life-changing moment of coffee revelation early in your career?
Finca Deborah Washed Gesha. I was astonished when I blind tasted this gesha among many samples in Panama. It has super long and clean aftertaste and taste just like very delicate fruit tea.
What is your idea of coffee happiness?
To me, coffee is happiness.
If you could have any job in the coffee industry, what would it be and why?
Coffee blogger. So I could travel around the coffee world and share coffee stories on my blog.
Who are your coffee heroes?
If you could drink coffee with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
My grandpa. Because he likes that I brew coffee for him.
Do you have any coffee mentors?
What do you wish someone would've told you when you were first starting out in coffee?
Yes. I wish someone could told me that coffee isn't a money-making business.
You’re the first barista on Mars. What’s on your brew bar?
Coffee in good spirits.
Best song to brew coffee to at the moment.
Johnny! Johnny! by Shootup.
Where do you see yourself in 2041?
Making a coffee cocktail on Mars!
The Sprudge Twenty Interviews are presented by Pacific Barista Series. For a complete list of 2021 Sprudge Twenty honorees please visit sprudge.com/twentyand check back for more interviews right here on Sprudge.