I have been an almost daily patron at my local coffee shop since I moved to China. The baristas know my order by heart and intuitively begin to make my coffee from the moment I step through the door. There is always a short lull in between the post-lunch rush and the early evening stream of office workers who round out their day with one final cup. Recently, during this period of downtime, was when I noticed Jimmy Wong poised against the café counter, chatting with the barista.
Before returning to his native city of Hong Kong and founding ListCup, Jimmy did the hard yards at the crème de la crème of Beijing tech companies, working as brand designer for Tencent and brand manager for Sina. It was during this time when he befriended a Beijing-based coffee shop owner and began to develop his palette for specialty coffee. He soon discovered that many patrons often have misgivings about their daily cuppa and even the most experienced of baristas can be underrated or misunderstood. With each passing year, his appreciation for the art of coffee making and passion for sharing industry knowledge continually grew.
In 2015, Jimmy turned down a promotion to become Sina’s brand director and decided to carve his own path by combining his experience in design with his interest in coffee. Upon returning to his hometown, ListCup was born — a coffee sharing platform that seeks to connect coffee lovers from all walks of life, from everyday drinkers, to baristas, to independent coffee shops. Jimmy also hoped that by creating this app, he could help to cultivate appreciation for the coffee industry as a whole.
The ListCup app offers varying functions that are dependent upon what role the user plays in the world of coffee. Unlike other coffee review apps, the main focus of ListCup is to build a community setting that allows all users to record their personal coffee journey on an open platform. In addition to uploading coffee photos, users can also share “coffee notes” which can be customised and include information on coffee regions, bean types, flavour, acidity, roasting method and processing techniques.
ListCup offers everyday coffee fanatics the opportunity to explore the best coffee shops around the world and connect with experienced baristas at the touch of a finger. After visiting a café, users can share their thoughts with other coffee lovers and provide direct feedback to baristas and the café itself through using the coffee notes function.
ListCup allows each barista to show off their own individual flare by sharing their own coffee knowledge with users, as well as recording their preferred beans and brewing methods. They may also use the app to study the brewing methods of other baristas and keep track of their own consistency by exploring the coffee notes shared by their customers.
ListCup allows cafés to be listed in a coffee-only directory. Cafés also have the ability to update their menu or introduce any news directly onto the app so that customers can be continuously kept in the loop about any new happenings. The “On the House” function also allows coffee shops to gift users with a free cup of coffee upon their next visit.
ListCup 为咖啡厅专门设置了个单独的区域。在APP上，每个咖啡厅能够自主更新其菜单，直接推出最新介绍或消息，因此顾客能够第一时间掌握咖啡厅的最新消息。“店家请客”功能（On the House）是为用户谋取的一个福利，让实地到访的顾客获得免费咖啡一杯。
It turns out that I had caught Jimmy in the middle of a long promotional trip – he had been on the road, travelling to the best cafés in Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Kyoto, Seoul and Taipei, in order to share the ListCup story in person. It’s always refreshing to see a newly minted entrepreneur take the leap away from the nine-to-five humdrum, and even more so, to see the leader of a young company adopt such a humble no-job-too-small mentality. As someone who plans entire travel itineraries around visiting decorated speciality cafés, I feel that ListCup is just the indexing tool that I have been searching for.