Words & Photos by Charlie Yong - @yogurtyong
Hello peeps! My name is Charlie and I live in Perth, Western Australia. I work as a retail manager/dispensary technician during the week and I indulge in good food and coffee whenever I get the chance.
Growing up in Malaysia, where diversity concerns has shaped my liking towards food, from grandma’s home-style Chinese cooking to a perfectly cooked medium rare rib eye steak at a restaurant, and everything in between. It wasn’t until I moved to Perth almost 9 years ago that I discovered the art of specialty coffee and have been obsessing over it ever since.
Personally, searching for a good coffee place plays a significant role in my work-life balance, it almost serves as a form of escapism from my daily hustle and bustle. That endorphin-rush you get when you catch a whiff of the coffee aroma as you set foot in a coffee shop and the pure satisfaction when you find the perfect corner at a café where you can sit idly by on a weekend and watch as the world passes by.
When it comes to choosing a café, I always go by these factors: coffee, ambience and customer service. I’ve grown to appreciate a good cup of pour-over coffee, so a café that offers the option gains a few brownie points - first and foremost. Different strokes for different folks, when I drink coffee, I often find the distinctive tasting notes of different coffee beans quite fascinating; you might find bright notes of blueberries in a pour-over, but you might pick up hints of chocolate-like notes in a flat white with the same coffee beans. The fact that you’re able to savour these differences based on the origin of the beans, the altitude where they are grown and the way the beans are processed, and the fact that these beans come from a completely different part of the world and how they end up in a cup at a coffee shop for everyone to enjoy, is just simply amazing. Humblebee, Felix & Co., Architects & Heroes, just to name a few, are some of the best in Perth when it comes to appreciating a good cuppa, be it a flat white, a spro, or a great pour-over.
One of my other interests is photographing food and coffee, also the coffee shop corners that are often an art in itself, that’s where ample natural light comes into play. I find myself drawn to little details of the quaint corner of the café, or that light-filled #coffeeshopcorner where a fiddle leaf fig calls home. When it comes to snapping shots of food and coffee, I tend to go for the bird’s-eye view that showcases the table situation where people can be brought into the dining or coffee experience by looking at the photos. On top of that, a café that gives off an inviting and relaxing ambience often catches my attention. In saying that, customer service plays a big part in it too. There’s nothing quite like visiting a coffee shop of which the baristas know you by name and know your order by heart, staff that initiate conversations and make you feel like home, to me, it creates a sense of community and it brings like-minded people together.
I’m pretty spoilt in a sense that Australia has one of the world’s best specialty coffee scenes; Perth, amongst the greatest, has quite a few top-notch places to offer. From places like Humblebee coffee in Mount Hawthorn who freshly roasts their own beans everyday, to Felix & co. in Nedlands who serves some mean ham & cheese toasties and offers a great selection of single origin beans from different coffee roasters to choose from.
If you ever find yourself in Perth and wanting a good cup of coffee, Humblebee coffee, among others, is definitely worth a visit. Located on a quiet strip in Mount Hawthorn, Humblebee offers nothing but amazing yet simple black, white and filter coffee and small goods such as mini donuts and waffles that I quite often indulge myself in. Not to mention they roast their own coffee beans on site so rest assured the freshness and quality of the coffee is guaranteed. If you find fancy a friendly chat or feeling inquisitive about coffee, the affable and knowledgeable people at Humblebee are there to quench your thirst, pun intended ;).
In the end, coffee is great in that it tastes bloody amazing; it also serves as a common interest for the like-minded individuals and a tool where people around the world can bond over.
For the dreamer - For the adventurer