President Books

六. ☕️ 咖啡 2

據説咖啡原產於非洲,光大於南美。我的朋友 Alberta 哥倫比亞人,每天喝 8 大杯無糖咖啡,有次在麥當勞一口氣點了兩杯,此外睡覺前必喝一杯,號稱有助入眠。以前我一年喝不到 8 小杯咖啡,怎麼比?
啟用咖啡消毒臭的清潔功能,偶一爲之,屬小概率事件,概率遠小於用來做咖啡獅子頭或者咖啡豆火鍋;物盡其用,兩全其美。克羅地亞有間叫 Fabula Organic Pencil 的公司,用廢棄的咖啡渣、茶葉渣等原料做成環保鉛筆。
南歐的咖啡特別香,當地人每天必喝好幾杯濃縮的義式咖啡(Espresso)。年輕時訪問義大利,光顧麥當勞,入境隨俗喝咖啡,還是只想點最淡的美式咖啡。店員不懂我要的是什麼,我只好改用同是拉丁語系的蹩腳法文解釋,店員好不容易搞懂了我的意思,啊的一聲說:「American Water!」 果然義大利人對咖啡講究,「喝」不厭精。

The McDonald's story

6. ☕️ Coffee Part 2

Coffee, which is believed to have originated in Africa, is hugely popular in South America. In fact, my Colombian friend Alberta drinks eight cups of sugar-free coffee a day. He once ordered two cups in one go at McDonald's. He has to drink coffee before he goes to bed because he claims it helps him sleep. In comparison, I used to drink fewer than eight cups in one year! It's hard to compare.
Coffee is usually served in different sizes: small (short), medium (tall) or large (grande). I always order a short. Once paid for, I ask for just half a cup as I only want a few sips. The salespeople know my habit and anticipate my order.  
A small cup of coffee serves many purposes. In chilly winter, it breaks the ice and starts a conversation with staff and students. "Drinking a cup of coffee to ward off the cold, eh?" we ask each other. On a warm spring morning, I offer colleagues a coffee to brighten the mood or enhance alertness. In sizzling summer, coffee works as a natural insect repellent indoors. In a golden autumn, the fragrance of coffee permeating the air complements the youthful vigour of freshmen on campus.  
Only occasionally do I use coffee for its disinfecting and cleaning purposes. More commonly, I might use it for making coffee-flavoured meat balls or coffee bean hot pot, which both represent the best possible uses for coffee, in my humble opinion. Interesting, the Fabula Organic Pencil company in Croatia makes sustainable pencils with a composite of recycled materials such as coffee grounds and tea leaves.
Not long ago, a CityU professor discovered a new method for making anti-bacterial graphene face masks. I wonder if the combination of coffee and graphene could inspire the creation of something new. Perhaps coffee-graphene face masks!
Coffee possesses a pleasant bouquet. While others pause to absorb a picturesque landscape, inhaling the scent of flowers or bamboo or taking delight in learning about the early arrival of plum blossom, I linger to draw in the fragrance of coffee. Communication is not easy. All worldly concerns dissipate in this sublime aroma. What pleasure!
Southern European coffee is particularly fragrant. Locals tend to drink several espressos a day. Thinking I should do as locals do when I visited Italy in my youth, I ordered coffee, but only the mildest Americano. The waiter didn't understand me at first. I had to explain by switching to my broken French, which belongs to the same family of Romance languages. After a moment, the waiter exclaimed, "Ah, American water!" For Italians, being connoisseurs, nothing is too fine when it comes to coffee.

1 February, 2021