This month, we had a cup of chai with J Roh from Black Tribe who aims to contribute to the settlement of the proper coffee culture in Korea through Black Water Issue, Black Water Paper, Black Water Port and Black Water Crunch. We discovered how he got into the business his running, how he came across Prana Chai when he was in Australia and lots more…  


J Roh from Black Trive, Black Water Port, Black Water Issue Korea

Q: What brought you into the coffee industry and how have you started Black Tribe Co., Ltd.?

I was in charge of branding at Breville (an Australian home appliances brand) when they were launching in South Korea and that is when I was first introduced to the coffee trend and culture. I thought it was a very attractive and promising industry and naturally that experience got me thinking that I would love to do my own business in the coffee industry someday.

After that, I flew to Australia and worked as a barista to experience the leading coffee culture over there, and I started a coffee media business when I returned to Korea with an offer of a Coffee Blog “Black Water Issue” operator.

Q: The most memorable and heartwarming memories or mistakes that you made in your work?

When we first started, we spent more time and energy on the Barista Championship coverage than what we are now. As you know, unlike the top rankers in the competition, in the case of non-qualifiers, their efforts were easily forgotten at the end of the competition, so we made an effort to take photos of all the qualifiers despite of the results of the competition. Then we uploaded to the social media such as Facebook, then when their family and friends see those posts, they were so proud. It was a great reward for seeing it and leaving a good memory for someone.

I can’t think of any big mistakes at the moment but small mistakes happened almost daily. I don’t think this interview will ever be over if I start talking about all the mistakes that I made. haha

Q, How did you first discover Prana Chai? 

When I was working as a barista in Australia, this cool sales person with sunglasses on came in to the cafe and brought out some sticky stuff in a craft bag. That was Prana Chai. Not only the regular customers, but also all the staff including baristas showed interests on the product and we immediately adopted Prana Chai in our menu. We couldn’t think of a good reason not to have it because it was easy to handle, tasted amazing and we loved how it was all natural.

After returning to Korea, I was living my life over here and nearly forgot about Prana Chai, but thankfully Jayde brought Prana chai to Korea and I am so excited about it!

Q, Things that people don't know about you unless they are super close to you?

I am pretty playful and enjoy joking around when I am with close friends but I tend to hide it at first. It is not that I am trying to convince people to think I am serious but  more of the fact that I know I can annoy people around me so much if I am fully myself. haha It is all for you. You are welcome!

Q, Where can people find you outside of your office?

When I am not working, you can find me at my gym, golf driving range, the Homeplus (a supermarket) in Hapjeong near my office. I get a lot of joy through working out and shopping so they are pretty important in my life. House work gives me a sense of peace and makes me so happy. Perhaps my calling is a full-time homemaker. haha. Did you know that there are many men like me?

Q, what make you excited now!

I feel like I will win the lottery this week!

Q, A brief introduction of Black Tribe please!

Black Tribe aims to contribute to the settlement of the right coffee culture through Black Water Issue, Black Water Paper, Black Water Port and Black Water Crunch. We put all of our energy & effort to make everyone thinks that 'coffee culture is better because of Black Tribe'

Follow his journey: 

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