Fiancee shares his passion for coffee

Mr Mohamed Rafi, 30, became a barista so he could impress women.

Chuckling shyly, Mr Rafi said he had always been fascinated with the skills required of a barista and felt that it would add to his charm.

He then turned to his fiancee and asked her if that was the reason she fell for him.

Miss Nur Azlina, 29, a cafe manager, laughed before saying no.

"It was more because of our love and passion for coffee that was the common ground between us," she said. "That really brought us together when we worked together previously."

Having known each other for six years from working at St James Power Station, Mr Rafi asked Miss Azlina out in May 2012.

Things developed quickly and they got engaged.

"We hope to be married in two years," he said.

Second time

The couple were at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre for the Singapore National Barista Championship and Singapore National Latte Art Championship, which are part of the ongoing International Coffee and Tea Industry Expo, Cafe Asia and the inaugural Sweets and Bakes Asia.

Mr Rafi is taking part in the competition for the second time. He also took part in 2012.

"Having not done very well two years ago, I hope I can make it to the top six this year," he said.

His latte art designs this year are based on a bird theme, and for the preliminary rounds, he drew an intricate peacock for his entry.

"The peacock is a bold animal and likes to spread its feathers to show off. Just like him," said Miss Azlina, referring jokingly to her fiance.

Mr Rafi showed signs of nerves at the start of the competition, redrawing his design once and deviating from the original planned artwork in his final submission.

"I was so angry with him at first for not following (the plan)," Miss Azlina said. "But it still turned out beautiful."

Miss Azlina, who accompanied Mr Rafi to the competition, was easily recognisable in the audience as she snapped away with her camera while he concentrated on his designs.

Mr Rafi, who welcomes her support, said: "She is my best friend, sister, colleague - my everything. She has been supporting me since day one."

Get The New Paper for more stories.