We love meeting people with interesting stories and this happened in Shenzhen when we popped into a bakery for a coffee.
Baker Tang is run by Tang, a Taiwanese guy who quit his job in the pharmaceutical industry to take up his love of baking full time, he used to work in vaccines and travelled to Belgium, Germany and Holland a lot. He joked that he could guarantee that his breads were safe because of this reason!
He studied for a year at the American Institute of Baking in Kansas. This brought back fond memories of touring America for Pete as they had a particularly fun travel day in the middle of nowhere in Kansas. He travelled all over America with his father and cousin and their father.
So he knows all about Chinese, European, and American styles of baking!
He summed up the American dream quite poetically when he said he liked America because of the sense of freedom and people’s fearlessness of expressing their true selves. Although he said sometimes they don’t have any restraint!
He’s from Taiwan. He said he’s always eaten nice breads in an artisan style but his family expected him to do something to make money so he didn’t become a baker. And he was working hard in the pharmaceutical industry when he said he had an ‘accident’ or his body told him that it would be best to stop working so hard. So he quit his job and started a bakery, although he hasn’t had a day off since he opened his shop so you should go and eat some of his bread! The shop is on Bagua 3rd Road as far as we can remember. It’d be a definite good shout for those western clients visiting Shenzhen on business or people popping over from Hong Kong.
The inside is really nicely designed, the bread is somewhere between western and Chinese tastes and it’s really tasty – Chinese bread is generally sweeter. There’s some really good sausage and bacon buns. This photo of us came out really crazy!
We actually visited Baker Tang three times in two days, partly because we were interested in Tang’s story but partly for the nice coffee and bread, and they also do an amazing matcha tea latte!! Can you tell we were fans?
The coffee was great and we had a bacon and whole grain mustard twist! We haven’t seen whole grain mustard for 7 months! He said business is slow at the moment, he hopes that when the new metro is open on the corner of the street where the shop is then it might pick up. There is a developing coffee and bakery culture in China, there’s lots of shops around but the culture is just starting to pick up. Hopefully for Tang he will succeed but just the fact that he had the courage to start his own business is more than enough praise for him.
Good luck Tang!!