Kay Kim has been working in the coffee industry for about 20 years.
“I went into computer programming, but after I graduated didn’t like it,” he says. “I wanted to do something that I was really interested in and pretty good at.”
Kim was born and grew up in Seoul, and after five years in Halifax, decided to open his own coffee shop on Dresden Row called Coffeeology Espresso Co.
“I’ve been thinking about running my own business for a while but wanted to learn more about the culture in Halifax,” he says After working at three local cafes, he believed the time was right for him to open up shop last month.
“I think the coffee scene in Halifax has been growing up really quickly. The first time I moved here, it was different. There were a few really nice local cafes like Steve-O-Reno’s or Java Blend, but it is time to offer something different. Third-wave coffee culture has now arrived here.”
Kim has trained rigorously in Korea, where coffee culture is hugely competitive. To be noticed as a barista, he says, “you have to learn more and offer something different.” There, he specialized in pour-over coffee which he says is growing in popularity across the world, but especially in Asia.
“We have a little bit of a different style of pour-over and that is exactly what I wanted to bring into Halifax.” Pour-over differs from drip coffee in its consistency and freshness. It takes about three minutes to brew but Kim assures it is worth the wait.
“The quality is way better than drip coffee. Most regular machines don’t have consistent
temperature, which is the main thing that effects coffee taste,” he says. “Pour-over coffee has the proper temperature, a clean aftertaste and is a little smoother.”
Kim wants customers to feel like they deserve both quality coffee and a connection with the person who’s serving it. “It is more than just coffee, it is about quality service and atmosphere.” He wants to keep the shop locally focused, serving Laughing Whale Coffee Roasters and hoping to collaborate with a local artist on Coffeeology’s visuals.
Kim says Haligonians have been receiving Coffeology well. “It’s definitely better than I was expecting. Surprisingly, people really want to know what the difference is between pour-over and drip coffee, and they’re willing to try it.”