Piyachat Trithaworn and Natthiti Ampriwan are artists from Bangkok, Thailand, who double as specialty coffee aficionados. Find out more!
EACH STORY ABOUT COFFEE STARTS AT A PLANTATION.
The Gallery Drip Coffee in Bangkok, Thailand, is the brainchild of Piyachat Trithaworn, a photographer who fell in love with speciality coffee culture. Piyachat, informally known as ‘Pi’, was visiting farmers on picturesque plantations in North Thailand when he discovered the beauty of cultivating, processing, roasting, preparing and sipping quality coffee. Together with his friend, Natthiti Ampriwan, he launched an unique art project, aimed at promoting the specialty coffee culture in Bangkok and beyond.
Respecting nature and the mindful preparation of drinks and food are central aspects of Asian cultures. Pi deeply enjoys the simple, sensual ritual of preparing, serving and tasting drip coffee. He loves to smell the coffee while grinding it and finds beauty when he observes how the hot water slowly flows through the freshly grounded beans. Similar to the Japanese Tea Ceremony, baristas focus all their attention into predefined movements and exact measurements. They use specific, functional equipment – complete with elegant designs – to prepare the coffee. Baristas carefully set up all items before they get ready to slowly pour hot water over freshly grounded coffee.
“SUCCESS OCCURS WHEN OPPORTUNITY MEETS PREPARATION.” – Zig Ziglar
What excited Pi about handcrafted coffee? It provides baristas with the ability to control every part of the brewing process. Upon returning home from his visit to the plantations, he rolled up his sleeves and began to experiment with pour-over coffee. He tried different grind sizes, water temperature, pour speed, bloom time and more. It did not take long until Pi began to hand-roast his own coffee beans. As he was pursuing his passion, an opportunity came knocking on his door.
At the same time Pi was exploring his new-found passion, the Bangkok Art & Culture Center was looking for artists eager to start short-term projects in one of the many empty rooms of the big building. Participants were asked to come up with ideas that would be beneficial to the art community in Bangkok. Pi and Natthiti Ampriwan, his friend and fellow artist, used this opportunity to launch an inspiring art project: a micro-sized, third-wave coffee shop, which specialises in serving light-roasted, single origin drip coffee. The Gallery Drip Coffee was born! Yet what was intended to be a short-term project proved to be an instant success in supporting the art community. Now a fully-fledged coffee shop open 6 days a week, it attracts a melting pot of artists from different walks of life.
Pi and Natthiti treat all coffee-making processes, from the fruit to the cup, as a form of art. They want to make sure that customers enjoy high quality hand-brewed drip coffee that highlights all the unique characteristics of the selected beans. Pi and Natthiti are involved in every step of the coffee- making process, from cultivating the fruits to serving coffee to their customers. It is their priority to only source quality coffee beans. They select their beans carefully while taking into account their physical and spiritual aspects. Not only the shape, fragrance and taste of the beans matters to them, but also their origin and history. They cooperate with coffee farmers in Northern Thailand and in the outskirts of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai who source Arabica beans ethically. Besides offering local quality beans, they also import beans from various far-off coffee growing regions abroad like Central- and South America or Africa.
LIFE IS ART.
The Gallery Drip Coffee shop is located at the bottom floor of the Bangkok Art and Culture Center, right next to the entrance. Surrounded by lofty glass windows, the space of the coffee-shop is limited yet it is bursting with inspiring work of art. Guests are invited to enjoy coffee while appreciating art in a relaxed atmosphere. Pi and Natthiti use their shop to promote the work of fellow artists. The coffee is served in simple, rustic ceramic cups, each lovingly handcrafted by local artists. The shop displays a wide variety of handmade items with creative motives and designs related to specialty coffee culture: T-shirts, cups, paintings, postcards, photography and more.
However, not all of the artwork is for sale. There is a wooden shelf, dedicated only to customers to store their private mugs. Whenever they come to the coffee shop, they have the pleasure of sipping the handcrafted brew out of their own favourite mug.
Pi and Natthiti love to create things with their hands and they are eager to share their passion for the ritualistic art of coffee making and enjoying. They encourage their guests to learn to handcraft coffee and to replicate the sensory experience of preparing and drinking drip coffee in the comfort of their homes. After all, the preparation of hand-poured drip coffee does not require expensive
tools or high-tech equipment.
Let’s make our daily coffee habit special!