Report on Taiwan Caravan
Between March 6 and March 10, our “Taiwan Caravan” toured 4 cities in Taiwan including Taipei. The 55 participants from various roasteries and cafes were able to experience firsthand what TYPICA stands for through events such as presentations and cuppings of direct trade coffee.
TYPICA first launched in Taiwan in October 2021, but in-person activities were restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, we were able to build good relationships with various members in the industry in Taiwan through interacting online, and it was with great excitement that we were finally able to hold our first in-person event at several roasteries that are important members of the TYPICA community.
Host roasteries for the Taiwan Caravan included VWI by CHADWANG and Coffee Underwater in Taipei, Coffee Stopover in Taichung, Cupping Spoon in Tainan, and Coffee Bullet in Kaohsiung. Since Taiwan is a region that is considered both a coffee consumer and origin, Zouzhouyuan from Alishan – one of Taiwan’s leading producers, also took part in the Kaohsiung event.
Chad from VWI by CHADWANG, the roastery that hosted the Caravan on its first day, expressed his expectations for the event by saying, “As someone who was inspired by TYPICA’s innovative and special philosophy, I want to encourage activities that will help them build their presence here. For a country with many companies that trade in coffee like Taiwan, having a global startup like TYPICA enter the fray should promote competition and make the market even more healthy.” Stanley from Coffee Stopover remarked, “Those of us with strong cupping experience wanted to reach out and help TYPICA since we felt like they were making sincere efforts to collaborate with the coffee community in Taiwan.”
The Caravan began with a presentation from one of TYPICA’s co-founders, Masashi Goto. In addition to sharing our current activities and vision, he also introduced some of our projects aimed at tackling issues facing the coffee industry. These ventures include “TYPICA Lab,” which gives roasters an opportunity to visit and deepen their knowledge of producing countries, and “OKAGESAMA,” a greening project that contributes to planting shade trees in coffee origins.
For the cupping sessions, 14 lots from 9 producers were prepared. These included lots from the new crop that is currently on offer as well as ready-to-ship lots that are part of our handpicked “TYPICA Selection.” Additionally, 5 producers joined the event online and shared how they first connected with TYPICA as well as their passion for creating delicious coffee.
Elias from Wete Ambela Coffee in Ethiopia made some supportive comments about how he believed the need for high quality coffee in Taiwan was growing. “We’re looking forward to how TYPICA will grow in Taiwan. This is an excellent chance for Taiwanese roasters to experience just how good our products are. Not only is it an opportunity for us to increase our sales, but we also hope to improve our processes by taking their feedback into account.”
4 roasteries from Japan with strong ties to Taiwan, Nagasawa COFFEE, ROASTERY MANLY COFFEE, Mame Porepore, and Kurasu, were also invited to participate in a round-table discussion. Having taken part in roastery training in Taipei 10 years ago, MANLY COFFEE’s Noriko Sunaga enthusiastically stated, “I’m looking forward to interacting with producers in Taiwan as well as sharing roasted coffee and exchanging information.”
Yoshiyuki Nakamura from Mame Porepore added, “There are so many things we can learn from people in Taiwan’s coffee industry, whether it be the open and enthusiastic attitudes of the roasters or the breadth of knowledge of the consumers. I’ll be keeping a close eye on Taiwan from now on!”
Throughout the Caravan, it wasn’t uncommon to hear greetings like, “It’s so good to finally meet you!” exchanged between Taiwanese roasters and our Taiwan team. Yu-ta Chu from Oasis Coffee Roaster likened the experience to, “the joy of meeting up with a friend that you haven’t seen in many years.”
Austin Tsai from All Day Roasting Company also participated in the Community Dinner. Some of his comments included, “TYPICA’s emphasis on transparency deeply resonated with me. We may be able to get green beans of the same quality from other companies, but TYPICA is different because they buy directly from producers and deeply understand them. You can see how they help each other to thrive and grow. I believe these relationships will continue to improve the quality of coffee being produced and keep customers happy. It’s a win-win situation for the entire coffee industry.”
Looking back on the event, Jeff from Café de Synergy added, “I’d heard of TYPICA as a platform, but that was about all the information I had until now. This was a great opportunity to learn about TYPICA’s history and growth firsthand. It felt like the aspirations and desires of their Taiwanese team were so similar to my own.”
Looking ahead, we are planning cupping events throughout Taiwan starting from April. After summer we will be launching Taipei Home, our Taiwanese headquarters, as well as exhibiting at the Taiwan International Coffee Show 2023, which is being held in Taipei in November.
During the 5-day span of the Taiwan Caravan, the number of Taiwanese roasters registered with TYPICA climbed to over 1,000. We’re very excited to continue nurturing this community as we continue to connect with coffee professionals all over Taiwan.