The Adelaide Review discovers the secrets of making great coffee from award-winning barista Fiefy Anuwatanaphorn from Pirie Street boutique coffee house Fiefy’s Specialty Cafe.
Specialty coffees houses have been popping up all over Adelaide recently. Why do you think this is?
In my opinion, coffee is not just a cup of coffee anymore! A specialty café provides different brewing experiences and educates people about coffee, as well as serving a good cup of coffee, which is a totally different experience when visiting a commercial café. Adelaide coffee drinkers are now travelling further for a good coffee and a good chat with a barista about coffee and brewing methods.
What makes Fiefy’s Specialty Cafe coffee different to others you will find around the CBD?
Fiefy’s baristas are passionate about their coffee production; and they are trained hard by me to keep our coffee standard high and to maintain the consistency of our coffees. No matter how busy we are, every cup of coffee is made with love and care. Fiefy’s blends are unique, created by Master Roaster, Andy Freeman (CoffeeSnobs) and me. They are award-winning blends that I used in Australian, Thai and world championships.
Our customer service is another asset of difference; we welcome our customers and make sure they receive a great well put-together cup of coffee and walk away with a smile. We understand how busy our CBD customers are, so we aim to take our customers orders as quickly as possible and also produce good coffee as quickly as possible.
Your blends are custom created by Andy Freeman from CoffeeSnobs. What can you tell us about the beans he uses, as well as their origins and flavour profiles?
Fiefy’s Barista Comp Blend: This was the blend used to win the South Australia Barista Competition 2010; and placed first runner up in the National Thailand Barista Competition 2010. It’s a blend of Sumatran and PNG specialty coffee beans with a dash of Yirgacheffe to add highlight. Profile: Initial floral off the grinder becomes bold and earthy in the cup with sweetness and berries in the finish.
Fiefy’s Organic @ Origin Blend: This was the blend used to win the South Australia Latte Art Competition 2011; and placed fifth in the World Latte Art Competition 2010. It’s a blend of specialty beans from Mexico and South America. Profile: Sweet and balanced with long lingering cocoa finish.
Can you explain how you became a barista and what made you want to pursue it is a career rather than a casual job?
My background was in sales and marketing, which I had worked in since 2000 in Bangkok, Thailand and Sydney. In 2007, I started in the hospitality industry. My first job was in a café and I was employed as an all-rounder. A couple of months into my new job, I was given the opportunity to learn ‘how to’ make coffee. I learnt a lot about coffee and making coffee by observing my co-workers, which slowly coaxed my interest and eventually led me to being keen to take my coffee interests further. I love coffee so much; and enjoy making it everyday!
Six months later, I heard about the annual South Australian Barista Competition (2009). Naturally, at this stage I had a budding interest, so I entered. Competition level barista performance requires a lot of time, a lot of money; and, a lot of effort, patience, love, passion and support. For me, competition is an expensive interest, but nevertheless, worthwhile. I have learnt a lot from the competitions that I have participated in, and from other baristas.
My three years of back-to-back competitions (2009-2011) were amazing experiences. During that time, I also worked in a café. I love interacting with people and serving great coffee to them. In 2011 I made a decision to pursue my career by deciding to go into business by myself and opened up my own café, Fiefy’s Specialty Café.
Do you believe Adelaide is entering an age of professional baristas?
Yes, I see more and more people getting involved in the coffee scene, taking an interest and growing a passion for the love of specialty coffee making. However, I believe that the Adelaide can only see an age of ‘professional’ baristas with more professional barista training.
You create some wonderful latte art and finished number five in the world in the World Latte Art Competition. A lot of people may think latte art is a thing of the past, but do you think latte art is still an important tool (as well as a signature) for a barista?
For me, there are many important elements involved in a good cup of coffee; shot extraction, milk texturing, temperature control, pouring technique, barista professionalism and personality, and of course, coffee presentation (latte art).
I believe latte art is utilised to ‘show’ the skill level of a barista and to create a ‘wow factor’ with the coffee presentation. However, it is important to understand that the others element of the coffee must also be produced correctly, so that the coffee actually tastes good too.
Fiefy’s Specialty Cafe 45 Pirie St fiefys.com.au