New coffee roaster to open shop in San Jose

New coffee roaster to open shop in San Jose

Moonwake Coffee Roasters began in a spot many well-known Silicon Valley businesses have started: a garage.

But unlike those big tech companies, this small coffee roaster has cozier ambitions. The cofounders just signed a lease to open their first brick-and-mortar coffee shop at 1412 Saratoga Ave. in West San Jose, which they hope to open later this year.

“Working in Silicon Valley, there’s a lot of stress that people go through,” says cofounder Mabel Yeung. “Just giving people a chance to take a break and relax a little bit was very important to us.”

She and her husband, Ming Wood, started dabbling with coffee roasting when they were stuck at home in 2020. It was a pandemic passion project that kept getting bigger.

As Yeung and Wood — San Jose residents working in tech at the time — learned more about the craft, they began sharing batches of beans with friends and family. Soon they’d developed a small roasting business, and in 2022, began serving coffee at pop-ups and corporate events around the Bay.

The team at Moonwake Coffee Roasters prepares coffee at a pop-up cafe. The coffee roaster is expected to open a cafe in 2024. (Courtesy Alex Oh) 

Now, they’re a fixture at the Cupertino farmers market each week.

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Their coffee beans are roasted with an eye toward balance and flavor, highlighting more citrus-forward notes, for example, or going in a cocoa direction, Yeung says. They focus on sourcing high-quality beans from Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and recently, Timor Leste, sometimes sourcing them directly from farmers by negotiating via Google Translate.

“Coffee itself is so diverse, and there’s so many different ways to enjoy it and prepare it,” she says. “All of these things contribute to a really exciting and enjoyable experience.”

Details: Moonwake Coffee Roasters can be found at the Cupertino farmers market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays at De Anza College, 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd. in Cupertino;