Powered by Proper: Four Kilo Fish

Four Kilo Fish isn’t a fish and chippery, but it’s not surprising that owners Yi Chen and Sijin Yu had to put up a sign explaining that. The name is a play on the pronunciation of Sijin’s name, which sounds a bit like “four kilo fish” in Mandarin.

“It confuses people,” says Yi, laughing. “But then they come in to find out more about the coffee.”

Yi and Sijin met 12 years ago in high school in China and moved to Melbourne together to study marketing and finance respectively. It wasn’t until they were visiting family in Yunnan, China, and a friend suggested that since they were living in Melbourne they must know about coffee, that they considered opening a cafe.

The couple was surprised to learn that the region they grew up in is actually China’s largest coffee producer and they went to visit a family friend’s coffee processing station in Pu’er City, a few kilometres from where Sijin’s family lives.

“We had fruit trees at our house, but we didn’t know [they were coffee trees],” says Yi. “Now almost all of the coffee we use is from our lovely hometown. We source from the farms directly, export and import by ourselves, and roast locally in Melbourne.”

Choose from two espresso blends: one is called The Uprising Blend of Yunnan – a single origin from Yunnan – and the other uses a mix of Yunnan and Peruvian beans, which Yi says is a nice balance for milky coffee. There's also a rotating single origin designed for filter coffee.

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