Varatt Vichit Vadakan (or Tae), the owner of Roast Restaurant and Roots Coffee Roaster, is the guy to go to if you want to learn more about coffee. We had a chat with Tae to talk about coffee, some of his favourite places in Bangkok, as well as his future plans.
1. Tell us more about Roast and Roots Coffee Roasters.
These two places were created from with a passion for good food and coffee. Roast is an all day dining cafe that serves up good brunch, dinner and desserts, along with freshly roasted coffee. We try to keep the menu and all the dishes as simple and comforting as possible. Our philosophy is simple, make everything from the freshest ingredients possible, try to make as many things from scratch as possible, then prepare simply with respect to the ingredients.
As for Roots, it’s really just our coffee roastery. Our aim was never to make it a commercial space/cafe, but really a place to educate customers about our philosophy of coffee and share our passion with those who care about coffee. We open for the public on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-6pm. On weekdays, we have various workshops/classes and use the place to roast coffee for our establishments and our wholesale clients.
2. What is a good cup of coffee?
A good cup of coffee is a cup made with care and understanding. It would be ideal if the barista (the last hand) knows and control the coffee from farm to cup… That’s why we source/import our coffee carefully while working with farmers up in the northern part of Thailand to ensure we get the best quality green beans to roast and brew for our customers.
3. The speciality coffee scene in Bangkok is growing fast, with more people starting to appreciate a good cup of coffee. What is your take on it, and how do you think it will evolve?
It’s a great thing that’s happening here in Bangkok. I think it’s a natural thing to happen after having seen how the coffee industry changed in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan in the last 5-8 years. It’s good that people are beginning to appreciate a story of a good cup of coffee and can now some what differentiate between the operators who care or don’t care. Once the consumers know why they are paying a lot of money for the coffee (for the quality and not marketing) those operators who serve good coffee will definitely benefit. It’s definitely a healthy competition going on in Bangkok.
4. Can you share with us some of your favourite places in Bangkok?
As far as cafe goes, I enjoy Ceresia Coffee Roaster, Brave Roaster, Casa Lapin, Brooklyn Baker, RMA Gastro 1/6, Wonderwall Kaffebar, and of course Roast and Roots.
5. Any plans on opening a new dining concept in Bangkok or overseas? Perhaps a cafe in Singapore?
Our newest baby is Rise, a bakery which offers freshly baked bread, pastries and simple tray cakes, We are also in the process of developing a concept for our new Taco shop and bar in Thonglor. It’s going to be fun, simple and buzzing! Please visit us the next time you come here. We are planning on opening in March 2014. Besides that we are just preparing for our market project which will happen in 2015. Lots of things to come in the next 18 months or so.