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Welcome to another edition of “What’s Neue from 9 to 5”. In this segment, 9 questions would be about people’s opinion on general and everyday things, while the last 5 questions would be fairly chill and more tongue in cheek.

We here at Neue believe that every person out there has a story to tell.

This week, we find out What’s Neue with Shaikh Fadilah of Dilcoffeetrail, who as the name suggests is someone who is truly passionate about appreciating all things coffee.

While pursuing a Master’s degree at the Australia National University in Canberra, he signed up for coffee barista and latte art courses at Sydney Coffee School back in 2008. Since then, he has travelled around the region, Middle East and United Kingdom to learn more about coffee culture.

Shaikh Fadilah, who is the man behind ‘Dilcoffeetrail’, said follower of the Instagram account get to have a peek at his coffee trail adventures, where he gets to enjoy some of the best specialty coffee in Asia and Europe.

“I believe there is room for others to appreciate specialty coffee,” he told Neue.

Shaik Fadilah also does live brewing at pop-up events, recently at Avenue 41 as well as those organised by The Collective Arts Events.

“I do enjoy espresso and flatwhite, but for pop-up events, I focus more on brewing filter coffee and hand pour over coffee,” he said, adding that he has also conducted coffee appreciation courses from his home. Last September, he was invited to be a speaker at BWN Coffee Convention 2018.

When asked what life quote he lives by, Shaikh Fadilah said: “Be a nice human. The world is full of nice people. If you can’t find one, be one!”

He also said people should be passionate in whatever they do, then the rest will follow. “Be the type of energy that no matter wherever you go, you can add value to the space and lives around you!”

Without further ado, let’s see how he responds to this week’s 9 to 5 questions.

The Tough 9’ers:

1. What has been your biggest challenge in life, and how did you overcome it?

Bereavement. Losing a member of your family. When you lose someone you loved, you feel as if the whole world is collapsing on you. Thanks to faith in religion and family, I was able to overcome this difficult period and have since moved on.

2. What’s the one thing you cannot live without?

Coffee! First of all, let me share my coffee profile. I prefer medium roasted beans because moisture is still present in the coffee beans and when you brew them, you can taste the sweet, syrupy flavours of the beans.

It’s important to understand the science of how coffee is grown (such as the elevation at which the coffee was grown, how it is processed and where it originated from).

As you can see from my Instagram posts, I do share such details as it gives my followers a better explanation of why certain coffee brews taste syrupy and flavourful.

I think it goes without saying that by now, you’ll know that I enjoy complex tasting notes 🙂

Did you know that African coffee is well known for its fruity syrupy tastes? Like chocolate?

There are no artificial flavours added to coffee beans … they are all natural. This is what makes me excited to brew!

In this day and age, people do enjoy sugary stuff. But there are concerns about calorie intake.

So you could say brewing coffee brings out the sweet taste, but doesn’t add further to our calorie daily intake. You could even say that it all adds up to a healthy lifestyle.

I do enjoy caffeine as my pre-workout. I my opinion, coffee is a perfect drink before running, swimming or doing CrossFit. It really does give you the drive for endurance workouts.

3. What memory instantly makes you smile?

Being treated as a foreigner in your own country 🙂

While jogging on the beach many years ago, I assisted a car that got stuck in the sand.

The local guy spoke English to me, while I replied in Malay.

After helping him out, he thanked me and said, “Enjoy your time in Brunei!”

I did not want to embarrass him. So, I just smiled and walked away 🙂

4. What’s something that you’r embarrassed you’re so good at?

(Source: GIPHY)

Getting food inspiration while exercising, running or swimming. After a workout, I’ll make my way to a supermarket to get ingredients and the minute I arrive home, I’ll start cooking.

5. What’s the nicest thing you’ve ever done for another person?

I brought a Jura automatic coffee machine to the office. As a way of raising funds for charity, I provided coffee beans and milk for free. Anyone who wanted a cup of coffee would have to donate $1. I’m proud to say that we amazingly managed to raise $300 that 1 month. All funds went to charity.

6. What’s the nicest thing another person has ever done for you?

My close buddies always buy me coffee beans whenever they travel. They know my coffee profile and what beans to get for me. I am most grateful for my coffee mules. (I call them that!) Haha!

7. Who is your hero?

Michael Mogard, a regional CrossFit athlete, the ‘Fittest Man in Asia’ in 2013 and owner of Reebok CrossFit 673. (He’s pictured with me at the very top of the page.)

Qualities: Living outside his comfort zone. Having lived abroad myself, I can relate to his situation living in a foreign land.

He’s from Iowa, USA, but made Brunei his home since February 2012.

He has also taught me a lot of life and management skills through CrossFit coaching.

He is by far the coolest guy! In fact, whenever you talk to him, you can’t help but get more out of him.

It’s as if you had signed up for a fitness class with Arnold Schwarzenegger, but you also get motivational tips from Tony Robbins and Oprah Winfrey.

The 3 things that I’ve learnt from him:

(i) If your job is tough, do CrossFit because it makes you see that your job as a minimal challenge.

(ii) You can do badly at a task but it doesn’t mean you fail for the rest of your life. If you can’t excel today, try again because you can excel the next day.

(iii) Facing challenges in your life … It’s important to break it into small pieces so you can work on achieving your goal.

8. What part of your culture are you most proud of?

I love Brunei hospitality. We are so friendly! I hosted a lot of my foreign classmates from USA, Mexico, Timor Leste, France and Canada. I didn’t want them to stay in a hotel and so opened up my home to them. After all, it’s easier for me to show them around town. And hey! They do get freshly brewed coffee and breakfast from me 🙂 Hahaha!

9. What’s the one thing that should be taught in school that isn’t?

(Photo: Shutterstock)

How to deal with failures! We read a lot about suicide these days. I wish schools would teach kids how to cope with failures that lead to depression.

The Easy 5’ers:

1. Would you rather only be able to whisper or only be able to shout everything?

Whisper cos it’s more fun!

2. What food would be the best to make a house out of?

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Ice-cream because I love them very much! And I would be able to lick the walls whenever I wanted to! Hahaha! Although … I would probably have to live in a cold climate though or else the house would melt!

3. What would you choose as your animal sidekick if you were in a movie?

Princess June (Photo provided by Shaikh Fadilah)

My female Calico cat, Princess June because she worships me and she is truly a diva!

Interestingly, June originates from my Thai classmate who passed her to me when she was only 3 months old. She is now 4 years old and follows me around the house, especially into my bedroom! Hahahaha! She will look for me whenever I’m not in town.

June is also a hunter cat! She can hunt big-sized pigeons and leave it in front of my bedroom as a gift!

4. What is your most hilarious childhood memory?

It was during a fancy dress competition at Pusat Belia, when I was 8 or 9 years old. I got stage fright! I couldn’t get on stage. Hahaha! But now, that’s no longer a problem 🙂

5. If you could only skip or run for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

Run because I consider myself a runner. I would normally clock 50 kilometres of running per week. I love running because it clears your head! Oh! I also get food inspiration while running too. Hahaha!

Bonus question: What would you like to say to all our Neue readers?

Be passionate in whatever you do. If you lose your passion, go back and find out why you did it in the first place. Rekindle that love and drive to continue your passion.

Oh! And do come and say hello to me at my next pop-up event and also try my coffee! (Shameless business plug! Hahaha!)

See You In The Next #Neue9to5

Would you like to be featured next? Or would you like to nominate someone you admire to be interviewed? You can get in touch with Neue by dropping an e-mail here or tagging your friends on Facebook or Instagram with the #Neue9to5 hashtag.