For the love of coffee

Kostas Trakas spills the beans on where a good brew can lead you.

Kostas Trakas and Tamika Glouftsis

Caffiend Coffee Company owner Kostas Trakas was studying a Bachelor of Law and Arts at the University of Adelaide when he met his fiancé Tamika Glouftsis in what he described as, “the only time I’ve ever been thankful for a group assignment.”

At the time, the pair visited Synagogue Place’s Fancy Burger between classes and longed for a good cup of coffee close to campus. Neither were to know this would eventually be the location and motivation behind Caffiend’s city debut. 

In retrospect, Kostas’ career in coffee is an obvious one. As a teenager, his parents bought a bakery café in Port Lincoln, prompting a move to the country and igniting his passion for hospitality. 

Caffiend Coffee Company

After moving back to the big smoke in pursuit of tertiary education, this fervour for coffee continued.

It’s the reason he worked part-time at Bracegirdles on weekends during a six-month stint clerking at a criminal defence firm post-graduation.

Realising a career in law wasn’t for him, Kostas said, “coffee was the only thing that I actually really enjoyed, so it seemed like a bit of a no-brainer to pursue that.”

From here, he cut his teeth “skipping around different cafés, just trying to learn everything that I could.” This included stints at Nature’s Provedore, Pollen 185, Patio Coffee Roasters and The Coffee Barun, before eventually opening Caffiend Coffee Company in Hahndorf.

Logistically, a second location in the CBD made sense. “I found I was spending a lot of time just driving around delivering to wholesale accounts,” he said. But Caffiend’s city location also sees a return, of sorts, to Kostas’ alma mater.

The East End café blurs the boundaries of University grounds.

Technically off-campus but nestled in Nexus 10's back pocket, Kostas said he sees “a pretty constant procession of professors, tutors and students coming through.”

“We knew who we were doing this for and that’s Adelaide students and staff, they’re a huge part of our clientele,” he continued

Kostas Trakas
I get to come to work and do what I love every day.Kostas Trakas

 

Recently selling Caffiend's Handorf digs, Kostas is pouring his efforts into the thriving CBD locale. He's a busy man. Clocking in at 7.30 am, he spends his days supplying both shops with beans, roasting for wholesale accounts, and on the floor.

“The buck stops with me, if someone’s sick, I do their job, even if that means I work an extra day or two, or have to do things after hours,” he said.

Ultimately, the long hours aren’t an issue for a man still enthralled by the industry.

“I get to come to work and do what I love every day,” he said.

“I love making coffee, I love interacting with people, I love having a joke with our customers, and honestly, every day feels fun, which suits me down to the ground.”

Story by Michaela McGrath
Photos by Meaghan Coles

Tagged in lumen, lumen Winter 2019