All across the globe, traditional bookshops keep disappearing in modern cities while cafés mushroom at many urban corners. The same can be said about university campuses everywhere.
The health benefits of coffee are beginning to be understood by science. Caffeine is a psychoactive chemical, hence a natural aid to contemplation and serious thinking which are hallmarks of a university’s way of life.
Blessed are the coffee lovers or addicts among us who come to school or work at CUHK. There are enough cafés to fill our appetite, from morning to afternoon, from Monday to Friday, from lower campus to higher. One can choose from, among others, Paper & Coffee at Pommerenke Student Centre, Café Tolo at Lee Woo Sing College, and the two outlets of Coffee Lover Café at CW Chu College and New Asia College.
Coffee is best enjoyed without cream and sugar. Latte art has taken the art of coffee to a new height, and Mr. Johnny Liu of Coffee Lover Café has already shown what a master he is in designing exquisite sets of tea and coffee for the total experience of his customers. But I prefer my coffee to be lean and clean. It should be black and bitter. Crema is the only fat admissible to my diet of caffeine.
I may be a minimalist but I do know what you drink in matters as much as what you drink. Coffee-drinking is made more delectable by the infinite variety of the drinking vessel—the Italians drink espresso in small cups; the Americans drink Americano in large mugs; we lowly wage-earners have our morning brew delivered in paper or plastic cups of various stripes and colours. I acquired a Julius Meini cup and saucer set some years ago. The cup with its question-mark handle plays no small part in energizing my workday forenoons.
Every addiction has its ritual. In the morning when I don’t go to any of the campus cafés, my ritual consists of grinding 15 g of Yirgacheffe, Sidamo, Geisha or what have I in my office and pouring hot water over the grounds in my Hario V60 dripper. I then hold the 100 ml of dark brown beverage thus yielded in unspeakable bliss.
This article was originally published in No. 541, Newsletter in Aug 2019.