While beverage industry trends have lately been dominated by those drinks of the alcoholic persuasion, lately coffee has been getting its fare share of press. With a growing number of coffee shops and cafes popping up nationwide, some roasthouses set themselves apart by working with specialty coffee beans, sourced directly from local farmers, and minimally processed.
Andres Pineros of the Fika Company Coffee Roastery is one such coffee purveyor who seeks to bring an authentic brew into the hand of local Los Angeles residents.
Read on as we sit down with the roastery owner to ask him six quick questions.
Foodable: How did you first get your start in the coffee industry?
Andres Pineros: I was born and raised in Colombia, so coffee farms and the coffee industry were very accessible to me. Though, the first time I learned to appreciate a good cup of coffee was during the time I was living in Sweden. I fell in love with their coffee culture - hence the name “Fika”! I started The Fika Company - Coffee Roastery four years ago in Colombia. It is a small coffee bar located in a gourmet restaurant court and it runs successfully up to date.
Foodable: What has been your most surprising or unexpected coffee pairing?
AP: It may sound strange, but spicy flavors such as spicy candies or spicy almonds and nuts behave very interesting with coffee. Usually they enhance the sweetness and body of the coffee in an extreme way. For example, pairing pistachios with a cajun seasoning with your coffee is insane. Another pairing that has the same effect is bacon and coffee. The bacon makes the coffee taste super sweet. Even the act of smelling bacon cooking while sipping coffee is an intense and delightful experience.
Foodable: Favorite local spot to grab a drink after work?
AP: Lately, I have been really interested in the process of making craft beer. I live in Long Beach, so I often walk over to Beachwood BBQ to have a beer and sit in awe of their flux capacitor. If you haven't heard of one, check it out. The technology is incredible. Also, since Fika is in the South Bay, I enjoy stopping by Doma Kitchen in Manhattan Beach for a glass of wine and a couple small bites.
Foodable: If you could never drink coffee again, what would your go to drink of choice be?
AP: I would drink black tea. It’s probably the closest drink to coffee. Although, I like to think that coffee is almost impossible to replace. I’m a simple guy. I like my water and I like my coffee.
Foodable: What has been the biggest career challenge you’ve had to overcome to get to where you are now?
AP: So far, finding the right location with a reasonable contract has been the toughest challenge during this 18 month opening process.
Foodable: What advice would you offer to others looking to follow in your footsteps?
AP: For the last 18 months, I have only followed the goal of opening The Fika Company - Coffee Roastery. I want to say that being persistent with quality work in every single step is an important factor to reach any goal. The inner motivation will keep on feeding the persistence.