“I’ve come a long way as I’ve changed multiple jobs. But I’m grateful for everything I’ve learnt as I was able to set up this cafe and market it well only because of my previous job experiences.” – Karen
Her love for coffee
We love Korean food – be it the flavourful chicken, rice dish or noodles, or even yummy desserts. And if you’re a fan of Dutch coffee, their low caffeine coffee is something that you can drink at any time of the day! Karen Tan decided the time was ripe for Malaysians to discover Korean coffee.
Thus, 3B Drip & Dutch Cafe Gallery was born. Karen started work in the advertising world and moved on to events and graphic designing before she met Mr Jung Young Soo (Will).
“He was a Korean coffee expert who taught me everything I needed to know about the coffee-drinking culture in Malaysia. This was in 2014 and that’s when we decided to set up a café together here,” says Karen.
The evolution of coffee in Malaysia
Dutch coffee (also known as Korean coffee) was first introduced by the Dutch as they brewed their coffee through a dripping process technique using socks. As this technology became popular over time in different parts of the world, the Koreans and Japanese innovated it a li’l and introduced their version of a Dutch coffee machine.
“A few years back, Korea was known as the coffee hub of Asia where cafes were literally everywhere. I have confidence that one day Malaysia will be the coffee hub of Southeast Asia. As we’re in the fourth phase of the coffee culture here, the next new thing is Dutch coffee, which is cold-brew coffee that uses chilled water to drip the coffee and keep it cold once the process is done,” explains Karen.
As 3B Drip & Dutch’s main aim is to get more Malaysians to understand and learn about cold brews, Karen and her Korean partner also set up a Cafe Gallery in the same place, where they teach those who want to become cafe owners the 101s of the business.
Hope for the future
“I’m really happy that we have a Speciality Coffee Association in Malaysia which is working with other countries to make our coffee market grow. I’ve come a long way as I’ve changed multiple jobs but I’m grateful for everything I’ve learnt as I was able to set up this cafe and market it well only because of my previous job experiences,” shares Karen.
Karen debunks the myth that cafes are money-making ventures that get investors rich fast. She goes on to explain that today’s market is extremely competitive and the biggest challenge in opening a cafe is to find a strategic location, set it up, have all the facilities, keep it in good condition and sell the coffee at an affordable price.