FEOH Espresso

FEOH Espresso

Originally operating as a family café in Lindfield, New South Wales 10 years ago, FEOH Espresso opened in 2018 in Northland, New Zealand with the view to change the way people think about cafés – by bringing coffee to the forefront as an espresso bar.

Nestled in the small coastal area of Bream Bay about two hours north of Auckland, father-son team Riki and Benji Taiaroa are all about offering specialty coffee that they personally enjoy, which attracts curious locals who like what they do. Strictly serving single origin brews highlights individual nuances in every cup and using small drum roasters allows people to try something new every day.

“It gives people that option to have something consistent down the line or step out of their comfort zone and try something new, say something from Colombia one day and something from Ethiopia or Kenya the next. We just love that people are as curious as we are,” Benji says.

“I think in New Zealand in general, espresso-based coffee is still at the forefront in terms of specialty coffee, so we’ve got our usual short coffee – it’s a beautiful, well-rounded wash coffee from Brazil – and it’s beautiful for black or white coffees. But we’re also trying to make filter-style coffee readily available. A lot of our filter offerings have very vibrant, bright acidities which are a great steppingstone for tea drinkers.”

Stepping into FEOH Espresso is like stepping back in time to an old school coffee lounge or saloon bar, but with a more modern twist. Black accents offset neutral, woody tones that co-owner Benji describes as functional, raw and stripped down. Even the equipment is in keeping with this theme, such as a customised manual lever machine with bone antlers for handles and the panels removed to show off the mechanisms as it works.

Mums and dads who have moved their families further from the city and retirees seeking the quiet life stroll into FEOH Espresso on weekdays for a serious cup of joe, perhaps picking up a homemade cake or fresh cheese roll (a tasty Southland staple that pairs well with coffee and has become increasingly popular for FEOH).

On weekends, the espresso bar attracts a younger crowd searching for a banh mi – a traditional Vietnamese roll that takes three days to prep and is sold exclusively on weekends.

FEOH – an Anglo Saxon-Viking rune for cattle that represents prosperity, wealth, and abundance – has also established a fruitful relationship with the New Zealand Specialty Coffee Association (NZSCA), as a member. This opened Benji’s horizons through both competing and judging in various competitions run by the NZSCA, which has allowed him to focus on his own development and support others in the industry – something that’s become increasingly important to him.

But none of this would have been possible without Riki’s guidance.

“When we started in 2012, Dad had no experience as a barista, he learned from day one and he’s always supported my growth in this industry as well,” Benji says.

“[Being co-owners] works out quite well, but we do get quite confused on who’s boss! But it’s great we’re able to do that. The espresso bar definitely wouldn’t be where it is today without his hard work and how he’s supported me over the years.”

FEOH Espresso

86 The Centre, Waipu, Northland, New Zealand, 0510

Open Monday to Friday 6:30am – 11:30am, weekends 8am to 1pm

+64 22 341 0412

This article appears in the February 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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