By Winnie Tam
Attention coffee and dessert lovers! There’s a unique game in town that promises to change your perceptions of what a coffee shop is like.
Faebrew opened in Richmond in August 2016. The first thing you’ll notice about Faebrew that’s different from other coffee shops is that there’s no menu. That’s because owner Vincent Wong says Faebrew exists to make customers happy, so he’s ready to make whatever they are in the mood for drinking, however weird or outlandish it may be.
To illustrate, he’s made coffees that are fruity, coffees that are highly acidic, ones that represent depression…even one with a raw egg in it. And if you don’t like what’s presented to you, you don’t get charged for it, even though Vincent says he’s yet to encounter an unhappy customer.
The name Faebrew comes from faeries, and the idea that each coffee served is magical and is a faerie’s brew. To further play off this theme, the handles of the cups used at Faebrew resemble fairy wings. Each cup is unique and locally made.
Other than having no menu, Faebrew is “drink-in” only. To Vincent, it’s important that the shop cultivates a sense of community and provides a comfortable gathering place for people to connect. Simply put, Faebrew is a bar without alcohol.
That’s also why closing time is more a suggestion only. Although the hours posted are 10 am to 11 pm daily, if a customer feels like staying, Vincent says he wouldn’t ask him or her to leave. (By the way, the latest he’s stayed is 4 am.)
The beans at Faebrew are custom roasted and come from all over the world, including Colombia, Brazil, Jamaica, Panama, Kenya, USA and Guatemala. And if coffee isn’t your thing, Faebrew also offers teas.
Desserts at Faebrew are as delightful as the beverages. You can choose from lemon tarts, tiramisu, macaroons and more. (Vincent loves getting new flavour ideas from customers and is currently considering adding black sesame and matcha macaroons to the line-up.) He sources the desserts from local renowned pastry chefs and works closely with them to come up with new creations.
The starting price for a cup of coffee is $12.50, and desserts are in the range of $10 to $15. You can also place special orders. For example, with advanced reservation, Vincent can bring in and make you the infamous kopi luwak, termed the world’s rarest coffee and made with coffee beans that have been digested by an Indonesian cat-like animal called the civet, for $40 a cup. Some people know it as the “civet cat poop” coffee.
So, if you’ve always had a unique coffee craving that can’t be met anywhere, or, if you’re simply a coffee or dessert aficionado, go and check out Faebrew. Just make sure you clear off your schedule for the day – chances are you’ll probably want to stay for a while.