Muhammad Fakhri: Coffee Insurrection Hero Chapter #3

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Muhammad Fakhri: Coffee Insurrection Hero Chapter #3

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Published by Tanya in Coffee Insurrection Hero · 22 March 2021
Tags: MuhammadFakhriBrewChampionIndonesia
1- Introduce yourself: who are you, where are you from, where do you work and what’s    your job.

My name is Fakhri Muhammad, many people called me Murad because of my account on Instagram (that’s my father’s name). I’m from Indonesia, East Borneo, Samarinda City. Honestly, I'm not working in the coffee industry, I'm just someone who loves to make a manual brew coffee, or what we usually called “homebrewer”. My job is actually as an assistant of a psychologist, but because of the corona pandemic, I decided to resign and now I help some friends who work in the coffee industry as mentors or trainers for manual brew coffee classes.

2- When and why did coffee become important to you?

I first got to know specialty coffee at the end of 2015. The thing that attracted me to coffee was the interaction. The interaction that I mean is the relationship that occurs between baristas and customers or fellow coffee enthusiasts. The interaction seems without limitation because there is always something to be discussed. The hospitality that exists in the coffee industry also makes me enjoy it.

3- Do you remember the first coffee you had that was more than “just a cup of coffee”?
In early 2016, the Brewers Cup competition in Indonesia started for the first time. At that time I was not familiar with the competition. We know that when there is competition, there will be lots of great coffees that appear. I had the opportunity to try competition coffee from my favorite coffee shop, which's coffee from Panama (I forgot the coffee's name). When I tried it, I was confused, why does coffee taste like flowers and fruits? Since then I started to try various kinds of coffee.
4- What’s your favorite thing about going to work in the morning?
Before work, in the morning I always make coffee for myself and drink it while smoking a cigarette (like most Indonesians).  But I do it all alone because I like to visualize or imagine the things I want to do in the future.
5- What’s your favorite brewing method and why?
The brewing method that I like is pour-over.  There are two main drippers for me, V60 and Werkudara dripper (a flat bottom that I made and designed myself). Why V60? As we know, it can produce bright acidity and a pronounced flavor. Why flat bottom?  Because this shape is able to produce a good sweetness and a good body. With both types of a dripper, I just need to adjust to the needs of the coffee. For example, if there is coffee that already has a high acidity intensity but does not have a body, then I will use a flat bottom, also if there is coffee whose acidity needs to be increased, then I will use V60.

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6- Which is the best coffee you ever tasted?
The best coffee I've ever tasted is Panama Geisha Anaerobic Natural from Finca Nuguo. That's coffee is my competition coffee when I won Indonesia Brewers Cup 2019. The flavor is so good and very complex.
7- Is there a country of origin that you tend to favor coffee from? Why?

Of course my beloved country: Indonesia!. Indonesian coffee has a great potential to become like a coffee from African and American. In this era, when all processors use anaerobic fermentation, Indonesian coffee has a very rapid increase in flavor. That's why I believe in two or four years, Indonesian coffee will able to compete in the world competition.
8- Suggest us a roastery to check (not the one you working at/you use at work).
Maybe, I will suggest my partner roastery from Jakarta, namely Onward Coffee Company.
9- What’s the most important things you’ve learnt while working in the business?
The most important thing in my opinion is the relationship between fields. Create collaboration, not competition. And also, respect the process.
10- How your work and the specialty coffee world are coping with Covid and the new challenges for hospitality?

Since I don't work as a barista and also don't have a coffee shop, I will answer it from the side of a customer. I see my coffee friends have made a lot of changes in the face of this pandemic. Many of my friends use e-commerce platforms to help with their sales, such as selling roasted beans or other menus. All of them are still opening their shops for dine-in, but with a visitor capacity of only 50% and the operational times is not to long like usual. All baristas work with the health protocol very strictly for making sure customers feel comfortable.

11- How do you the specialty coffee scene in 10 years?
I think the next few years, specialty coffee will adapt to what commercial coffee is doing. Now we can see that many specialty coffee people make products such as commercial coffee. We can see a lot of canned coffee, capsule coffee, drip bag coffee, and so on. Does that look bad?  No, it is a form of survival in this industry, and indeed innovation must be carried out continuously. But the most important thing that we must keep is hospitality.
12- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I want to join the competition again until I become the world champ in the brewers cup. After that, I want to compete in barista championship because I want to make a history that a disability people can be a world barista champion. Then, I want to make a small coffee shop that the barista is just me (one man show), and in my coffee shop the customer can tell stories about their lives, their love, or maybe about their family. Why do I want to make a coffee shop like that? Because I'm a psychologist and maybe a good listener.
13- Any last word? Any tip or suggestion you wanna share with someone that want to start this path?
For people who don't know me, I am a person with a disability, my right hand is only half, but I am proof that this industry is very open and friendly to anyone who wants to enter into it.  Just do what you want, stay polite and humble, always learn because the coffee industry is always growing.

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