‘Feening’ for coffee.
At the bottom of a government department building, sits a busy little café pumping out coffee that meets the needs of local office workers. Feen, which is a name that was inspired by the word Caffeine, is the first café for Gavin Wong, who began his hospitality journal back in the day when Coffee Hit was the only place to get a decent coffee. He’s come a long way since then, and his first solo café has taken up residency at this corner spot for the past four years. Coffee is sourced from Axil, and extracted via a La Marzocco Linea, with mechanical paddles.
The use three different blends, to cater for the variance in customer preferences. The standard seasonal blend gives a balanced clean cup, with smooth malt chocolate notes. For those who like their coffee served at a higher temperature, the Vader blend is used, which is composed on a Costa Rican Cerro Alto, Colombian Gran Galope, and Brazilian Serra Negra. This allows a fuller bodied coffee, and works well for milk coffee, giving a rich body with that classic espresso flavour. They also have an even darker roast blend, to cater for those who prefer their coffee with a real kick, and usually ample sugar. A darker blend can cut through the sweetness, and deliver that high strength lots of customers in the area have tended to prefer, due to growing up with dark roast coffee.
While the café itself is not winning interior design awards, they go the extra mile for their customers, and have done their research on the areas demographic. More to the point, it’s done without compromising on quality. I had a friend with me, who is a milk based coffee drinker, and described the seasonal blend, which is currently composed of Ethiopian, Brazilian, Colombian, and El Salvadorian beans, as tasting like a smooth cup of Maltesers. So how did they cater for me, considering I don’t take milk with my coffee? Well, Gavin has a Clever Dripper behind the counter, and a bag of filter roast beans. He brewed up a Kenyan SL28 from the Kirinyaga district. The Clever Dripper brewer is like a pour over and French Press all in one, which removeds sediments, while allowing the barista to control steeping time. I enjoyed a complex cup, with a decent body, and sweet currant and plum notes.
You can find Feen at the bottom of the Department of Justice and Regulation building on Walker Street, not too far from Dandenong Train Station.
50/46 Walker Street
Dandenong VIC 3175