Continuing the Coffee Talk series with the founder and owner of Babah’s Coffee & Tea. Babah’s Coffee & Tea is quite new in the coffee scene, having started selling coffee via Instagram in May 2016. Currently they cater to the KB market.
What is the history of Babah’s Coffee & Tea?
It all started with a cup of coffee we bought at a café. My Dad (we call him ‘Babah’) wanted to take a sip of the Hazelnut Latte. Turned out it was not that good for him and it was too sweet for my mom, but they do love the hazelnut. Then boom! it hit me and I thought, “Hey, I can make this for them”. So with that in mind, I Googled the recipe and bought the ingredients at a nearby supermarket. At this time, I only used grounded coffee. I followed the recipe and change it, keeping in mind what my parents prefer it to be. They love it! Even my siblings love it. Having that kind of response, I tried different kind of recipe. Bought my own grinder, tools, and whole beans. What started as a favor for my parent became an obsession. I did my study and research. It turned out there is a lot of complexity in a cup of coffee. My family and friends are my personal taster for my coffee.They give me feedback to improve the taste. At this time, the coffee I made was just for personal not commercial.
One Friday, there was a sermon on doing business. So, me and my friends had a discussion on it at work right after the Friday prayer. I was not ready to go commercial due to the negativity in my mind, “Will people like my coffee & tea? Will anyone buy them?” It took me few weeks to consider, plus I was busy with my work to think about it. Then one day, the same words came out from my family and friends, “How will you know if you don’t try?”. One thing led to another, and here I am, making people smile and happy with my coffee and tea.
Why venture into the business of selling coffee?
If you know there is a problem, then find a solution. Some of my friends are coffee lovers and addicts. Sometimes I hear them complaining that some coffee drinks don’t taste coffee or too much this and that. These are what my coffee & tea are based on – the customers’ needs. My coffee & tea might not be the best, but they make my customers satisfied with what they paid for.
Can you tell me what inspired the name (and what the name signifies)?
My Dad. It all started with making a cup of hazelnut latte. I wanted to be the one who take care of my customer. What they want and need in a coffee.What other name can symbolize this other than Babah (Dad)? My dad takes care of us siblings’ needs and wants with much love and sincerity and that is how I want to take care of my customer. “Who’s your Babah?”
What is your vision for Babah’s Coffee & Tea?
Same like the others. I want to open a café in Kuala Belait as a start and have my own team to cater my customers. I am working at the morning until 4 pm and sometimes have to go offshore for days and sometimes weeks. Therefore, I sometimes unable to attend my customer for their cup of happiness. Which is why I need a café and a team. That will be the target at the moment. For now, I’ll just keep people smile and caffeinated and save up. In the future, I hope Babah’s Coffee & Tea will be the talk of the people and continue to make people happy with a cup of our coffee & tea plus love.
What are your hopes for Brunei coffee scene and culture?
Definitely hope that Brunei will develop more on coffee plantation and roasting coffee beans locally. Have a special “made-in-Brunei” beans, we can export it to other countries as well as using it locally (importing beans from other country do cost a lot). With the amount of café here and in other countries, it may be a good investment. But I’ll leave that to the expert 🙂
If you’re interested to have a taste of their coffee or want to know their latest updates, follow them on Instagram: instagram.com/babah.bwn/
Thank you for reading the Coffee Talk series. If you have questions you would like to ask cafe owners, home brewers, or coffee enthusiasts in Brunei, you can either drop us a comment or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.