Skip to content

'Unfiltered' conversations at hidden Richmond coffee shop

Coffee is more than just a drink to this Richmond resident.
Vincent Wong is the owner and barista at Richmond’s Faebrew coffee shop.

What is coffee to you?

Is it a cup of liquid to wake you up in the morning? Or something to get you through the mid-day slump?

For one Richmond coffee shop owner, it connects strangers together at a 10-seat bar counter.

Vincent Wong, owner of coffee shop Faebrew, opened the cafe to bring people together in an “unfiltered” space for open conversations.

“The only life that exists in the shop is the people that come to the bar counter,” said Wong, who opened Faebrew inside the Kam Do Plaza, on No. 3 Road between Browngate and Leslie roads, about six years ago.

“Knowing that you can be there for somebody, or people come back to you because they sometimes rely on my support, want to learn something, or be able to inspire people has been the most rewarding.”

Wong, who runs the store on his own, told the Richmond News that he says “a lot of aggressively dumb things” while he prepares coffees for visitors, but he wants to keep conversations “real and unfiltered.”

“I just hope to push people into a different mindset a lot of times. I’ve also been in very cutthroat industries, which is where my personality comes from.”

Faebrew parallels the idea of a “fairy’s brew” where coffee is a medium to bring people together, explained Wong.

He had no interest in coffee before and viewed all coffee shops as “fundamentally the same” with extensive menus and add-ons.

That is until he had a pour-over coffee in Asia.

“I remember one of the best coffees I ever had was in Hong Kong, and it was a pourover. I thought this was an interesting concept unlike many here in Vancouver,” he said.

Wong learned pour-over coffee techniques on his own and has since started his YouTube channel to teach others and experiment with different ways of making coffee.

And the name and logo of the coffee shop has a story of its own.

Wong was trying to explain to an autistic friend what kind of coffee shop he was opening, but was struggling to communicate with him.

His friend, who isn’t normally aggressive, just threw some blank paper at him, and Wong then came up with the logo of Faebrew depicting a cup with fairy wings.

To continue the theme of fairies, the cups at Faebrew are all custom-made with fairy wing handles.

Faebrew has no menu and charges a flat price of $15 for a cup of black coffee ($10 for tea drinkers).

Visitors walk in and describe what type of coffee they like and place their trust in Wong to make it.

On occasion, there are baked croissants or house-made cheesecakes available.