Tuesday, September 25, 2012
It seems like only yesterday we were together at the now-mostly-frowned-upon 'bad' coffee chain, parked securely at our favorite corner. We took our time, each with our laptops, him with his Americano, me with my double espresso. Sometimes he'd sneak in packed sushi from the nearby Japanese department store, on other occasions we would both discreetly ingest warm stuffed buns or pastries from the bakery downstairs. I was his solace and good company, he was my excuse to stay out all day, feeding my daily caffeine addiction.
Back home those days we didn't have much options for a good cup except the typical chains. I didn't give it much thought. As long as the shots did their job in my blood stream, I was happy, blissful in my own ignorance, if you must.
Fast forward 6 years later, he now resides in Melbourne, while I've visited twice. We were always snobs to a certain degree, what with our Crumplers, Apples and passion for anything of great taste. Naturally, the chains became a thing of the past (unless we were stuck at airports, at which case chains would be heralded as blessings from above). Now, he has a decent piece of machine at home while I start my journey on the path of alternative brewing methods.
Last night, for the first time, my fingers felt what it is like at the bottom of a metal pitcher, steaming milk to about 65°C. I've cooked soft boiled eggs at 65°C, made a tangzhong starter at 65°C and started endless batches of Swiss meringue buttercream at 65°C. Nothing of those, however, came even close to preparing me for the near scalding sensation of creating perfect microfoam. There shall be no more looking down at those chain baristas and their individual clipped thermometers.
But for good coffee I will travel. And put my hands as well as other senses to what they are meant to do. As with most things, give coffee love in the hope that it loves you in return, and then some.
Life Is Great explores the incredible world of food and cooking. We hope to share with you our most delicious moments and inspirations.
“Just like becoming an expert in wine–you learn by drinking it, the best you can afford–you learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simply or luxurious. The you savor it, analyze it, and discuss it with your companions, and you compare it with other experiences.”
Julia Child (Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
“Life is short. Live your dream and share your passion.”
- Gooey Cinnamon Cake
- Chinese Crispy Roast Pork Belly (Siu Yuk 烧肉)
- ABC Soup (罗宋汤)
- Kong Bak Pau (扣肉包)
- Pandan Chiffon Cake (Improved)
- Crispy Fried Egg
- Tamago Kake Gohan (卵かけご飯)
- Strawberry Pie
- One Pot Chicken Rice
- Bak Chor Mee (肉脞面 - Minced Pork Noodle)
- Hakka Salted Egg Steamed Pork (咸蛋蒸猪肉)
- Hong Kong Part III
- Hong Kong Part II: Zongzi/Bakchang (粽子/肉粽)
- Caffè HABITŪ (the table) at G.O.D. Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
- Hong Kong Part I
- Australia 2010 Part 1: Melbourne
- Bourke Street Bakery, Sydney
- Il Fornaio, St Kilda
- Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne