Taichung city native Mr. Mai Ya-Jyun has long been a passionate traveler. In 1982, his wanderlust took him on a coffee trip to Brazil, where he met Eliana from southern Minas Gerais state.
Falling in love with Brazilian coffee culture
Of Italian descent, Eliana's ancestors immigrated to Brazil around 100 years ago and settled in the central part of that country, in Minas Gerais state. With a unique geography soaring to as high as 1,200 meters above sea level, this region is also known for growing a coffee bean variety known as the "Cherry Coffee Bean". Mr. Mai traveled there to witness the indigenous ways of life, especially among a people who were so dedicated to their coffee fields. Although they lived a somewhat slow pace life style, they took pride in looking after each of their coffee plants; from seed-planting to harvest, every stage was done properly.
"Brazil really is a heaven for growing coffee plants; the humid climate and the geographical advantages make for the right conditions. But only later was I aware that the true cause for this is deeply rooted in their agricultural style, the value of not rushing and allowing for natural growth," said Mai.
He started his professional training and entered a traditional course which specializes in coffee appreciation. As a foreigner who did not speak Portuguese, Mai discovered true love through coffee--a passion that was shared equally by Eliana. "I really admire Eliana's culture, something her family has maintained, and the value that brings the whole family together, very similar to Taiwanese," he noted.
Starting his own business.
Mai and Eliana started a family together in Brazil and had two sons. During this time, they also realized how popular the coffee culture was going to be. Mai had been thinking about bringing the coffee business to his hometown of Taichung, but didn't want to deprive the local Brazilians their right to fair trade.
With the rapid development of Taichung Port and highways being laid across the city, Taichung was also seeing a growing number of coffeehouse chains with stylish cafes located in busy areas around town. On Taichung Port (TaiZhongGang) Road, the Taiwanese- Brazilian couple opened their coffee shop, named Jobi Coffee. Today, this establishment has a selection of around 20 different Brazilian coffee beans, imported all the way from the mountain areas of Eliana's home country. They also sell "Jobi coffee", a personal blend by Mai that is said to be the very finest on their menu.
After a decade in business, the coffee shop continues to maintain high levels of quality control. This helps ensure that many local coffee-lovers continue to indulge their passions by returning repeatedly for the experience of immersing themselves in the warm ambience of the subdued lighting, coffee aromas, the sizzling sound of the coffee machine, and great conversations with the owner.
Eliana and her family are currently living in Taichung's Dadu Mountain area. She has learned to speak Taiwanese and she likes the local snack known as "wa gui" (rice cake in a bowl). The family has been delighted by the addition of another member, this time a girl, and is looking forward to the future. On days off, they enjoy walks in the Taichung Metropolitan Park on Dadu Mountain, where the surroundings remind Eliana a bit of Brazil.
In keeping with their "relaxing lifestyle value", the Mai family welcomes you to share in their passion for coffee. Those who still live fast-paced lives should most certainly stop in to indulge themselves and unwind with a good cup of coffee.
Position：Co-owner of the Jobi Coffee Shop