Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The story behind Story Coffee Roasters



The story behind Story Coffee Roasters

The third floor of the café, where customers work away and hang out.
The third floor of the café, where customers work away and hang out. Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon

The story behind Story Coffee Roasters

Inside the bright, minimalist space of Vuthy Horng’s new café on Street 21, the aroma of freshly ground and brewed coffee is practically palpable upon entry.

Story Coffee Roasters recently entered the local café scene on April 3, but has already amassed a loyal following among young Cambodians, with a young professional crowd filling up the space on a recent Sunday afternoon. Yet the story was hardly scripted, according to Cambodian owner Horng, who left his job at an insurance company to strike out on his own.

“I didn’t quit to start a café. That wasn’t the plan,” he says. Horng originally intended to spruce up the space and sell it as a way to break into the local real estate market. However, Horng’s wife was keen on keeping the building, which is conveniently located near her parents’ home. Instead of renting it out, Horng decided to open a café, inspired by a barista he met when checking out local coffee shops in Vietnam, where his wife is based.

“His passion for coffee got me into it . . . his love and care around the bean,” he says. “He taught me about the beans, the different processes, the difference between beans used for the machine and pourovers.”

Armed with a year’s worth of coffee knowledge, Horng opened his own café, with the aim of providing good, ethically-sourced coffee to young Cambodians. “We want it to be a place where people can come enjoy themselves freely and express their opinion. That’s why I called it Story,” says Horng.

Owner Vuthy Horng at the counter.
Owner Vuthy Horng at the counter. Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon

He hopes that Story will be a place where they can congregate, discuss their career goals and bounce ideas off each other about how to achieve them.

“We have the opportunity to talk to them, push them, give them a bit of direction and get them to think it is possible because other people have done it,” says Horng.

That conversation also extends to the story behind every cup of coffee. What sets the café apart are the baristas, who understand the complex process behind making a good cup of coffee and are equipped with the know-how to operate different machines and grinders to customise each cup to individual preference.

At Story, single serve hand-poured coffee (from $2.75) and cold drip coffee (from $2) is served in addition to the typical range of espresso-based brews. As Horng prepares a serving of hot pour over coffee with beans from Ethiopia, he explains the process and the variables affecting the taste of the coffee, such as water temperature and size of the grain, which determines the speed at which the water goes through the grains.

“If it goes out too fast it will taste sour, because the water doesn’t stay long enough to get the caffeine content,” he explains. “For a finer blend, it will stay too long, and it is too bitter. You won’t get the acidity, the sweetness. It depends on the customer’s preference, but we also want a balance.”

Story Coffee Roasters is located at #2 Street 21 and opens from 6:30am-9pm daily.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Cambodia planning new border checkpoint at Thma Da

    Cambodia is looking into the possibility of opening a new Thma Da Border Checkpoint with Thailand to boost trade and tourism. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said on December 4 that Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a technical working group