Welcome to FORBIDDEN

Forbidden is here helping cafe owners to build a more successful business.

Being in the industry since 2013, Forbidden went from a simple coffee blog to a cafe consultant brand. Here is a platform I gather all my experiences and expertise in specialty coffee and tea industry. Cafe owners or Barista can make use of the completely free articles or brewing guides that publish here. Also, they can share their thoughts or contact me to collaborate.  

What makes Forbidden really special is that here are knowledge and information especially for cafe owners. For example, I share what mistakes you should avoid when opening a new cafe; my advice on cafes’ coffee training; and skills in creating coffee or tea mocktails. 

Forbidden also designs affordable coffee workshops for the public, such as introduction to Specialty Coffee and Coffee Tasting Workshops. Currently, Forbidden is involved in various exciting cafe consulting projects, teenagers coffee education program and book writing.

Forbidden is here helping cafe owners to build a more successful business.
And I am gratefully proud of being one of the very unique cafe consultants in the industry. If you want to know exactly what Forbidden is up to, I publish once a month blog post, it’s full of information about cafe business or the industry. New coffee or tea mocktail recipes, it’s generally my creative drinks recipes and skills that I learned from experience. I also provide free brewing guides or ebook from time to time for folks who are curious about how to operate a better cafe business.

Or if you want to have a tailored advice, you can contact me to chat in person.  

About Me

Vanessa Lee

People consider me having a Slash Careers. 

I am a Barista Trainer / Tea Sommelier / Blogger / Cafe Consultant/ Creative Drinks Specialist. Having multiple roles in the industry makes me having multiple insights and all-round perspectives over cafe industry.  

I had been involved in a lot of different projects throughout my journey with a few employers I worked with. Here are some highlights: 

During my stay with The Coffee Academics: 

  • Opened TCA’s 1st Micro-Roastery - The Roastery Lab 

  • Opened Hong Kong’s 1st Coffee Bespoke Lab concept store 

  • Led local and overseas barista training programs

  • Led a 12-month special drinks creation series 

  • Been selected as Brand Ambassador

During my stay with Basao Tea: 

  • Opened Basao’s 1st Tea experience store 

  • Tea Mocktails Design 

  • Operations consultations 

Besides my work with employers, I run the brand at the same time 

  • Self-initiated water-coffee relations research project 

  • Contributed article to Perfect Daily Grind

  • Contributed articles to Coffeebi.com

  • Offers Coffee workshops  

Through these working experiences, I developed my expertise over cafe business, especially on its software (eg. trainings, cafe operations, quality control)  and its hardware (eg. machines & equipments, drink development).

What does Forbidden mean?

 Be Rebellious   ·   Chase Perfection

Forbidden was a blog that I created since 2015, the year that I fully entered the cafe industry after graduating from law school. It was the year that I faced the most rejections from family, friends and the world. Most of the things that I wanted to do were a no-no. 

The world kept telling me what I should not do. “You shouldn’t be a barista because you are highly educated.” “You should do something bigger, something more successful.”  

But, who can define success? 

I am here to jump out of the box of Forbidden. That was where everything started. I wanted simply to spread my passion for coffee to the world through my writings. 

So Forbidden means a lot to me. It contains the courage of my younger self of being true to my passion and the braveness of walking on a different path than the world was telling me to. 

I am wholeheartedly grateful seeing the growth and transformation of Forbidden in these years. 

Welcome to Forbidden! I hope you enjoy what you read here. Forbidden is here helping cafe owners to build a more successful business. Let me know if you need me. I am just one click away! 

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