Meet Jeff Qu of Crimson Coffee in Camberwell Junction
Article posted: December 14, 2022
Almost a year ago, Jeff Qu gave up any plans to pursue a technology career and launched his speciality coffee business instead.
He left Monash University with a Master’s degree but instead of going into IT as originally planned, he fell in love with Melbourne’s vibrant coffee scene.
“I became fascinated by Melbourne’s coffee culture. And so, I left IT for the pursuit of quality coffee,” Mr Qu said.
He now owns and runs Crimson Coffee in Camberwell Junction and has almost a year in the business under his belt.
“We are doing well and building customers all the time. After 11 months, I am still here and everything is looking positive,” Mr Qu said.
Learning before leaping
Before opening the little cafe on Burke Rd, Mr Qu backed up his coffee culture fascination with lots of learning and experience.
“I started learning about coffee and worked in a few cafes as head barista and later as manager,” he said.
“I learned about coffee roasters and used all that accumulated knowledge to start out on my own.”
Speciality coffee refers to the highest quality coffee in accordance with scoring standards and coffee grading guidelines.
A scale is used to grade green coffee beans on a scale from 0 to 100 points, with speciality coffee being defined as green beans scoring between 80 to 100 points.
Crimson Coffee prides itself on choosing green beans from all over the world that score over 80.
“We also do numerous sample roasting to ensure great quality,” Mr Qu said.
“We use small batch roaster Diedrich to control every step in roasting process. We ensure quality control on every batch to make sure our coffee is of a consistently high level.”
Attracting commuters, locals, shoppers
Located near Camberwell train station, Crimson Coffee caters to a very Melbourne customer – the commuting coffee connoisseur.
“Monday to Friday, a lot of our customers are commuters,” Mr Qu said.
“My aim is simple and delicious. I have great speciality coffee sourced from all over the world, delicious Mörk (hot) chocolate, and beautiful pastries from Via Porta.
“I have recently started doing toasties at lunchtime.”
By mid-morning the cafe gets more nearby residents, and on weekends it attracts shoppers and visitors who have travelled in to Camberwell Junction.
“I have seating for about 10 people in the front section and in September I opened the rear courtyard and can sit about 15 there,” Mr Qu said.
“It is lovely to sit there with a great coffee and pastry and enjoy the sunshine.”
A labour of love
Mr Qu’s vision for Crimson Coffee was to not only sell great coffee but be knowledgeable about all aspects of it – from the bean to the roasting to the serving – and ensure every link in the chain was the best.
He also wanted to celebrate coffee and he loves to talk to fellow coffee lovers about his products.
Many of the online reviews and social media comments show that the cafe has an appreciative customer base – those who love a coffee chat about where the beans are from and how they’re roasted, to those who simply enjoy a good brew.
“People are always the core of our business,” Mr Qu said.
“Crimson Coffee is for those who love coffee, people who have a knowledge of coffee products and production, and the people who love to drink coffee.”