Café Culture (and a bit of tea for good measure)

I have fallen victim to café culture lately though I always was the Queens’ faithful subject and a habitual tea drinker. Of course, that is not counting the heavenly morning coffee my mother used to make, while still living at home. Ah, the aroma and the taste of my mother’s brew was simply divine and the taste still lingers on.

Essentially, I still am a tea drinker at home or (only) at a SL household. Anywhere else, I am a coffee drinker to save my soul. The westerners I know don’t have a clue how to make a good cuppa. They either don’t brew the tea long enough… don’t use boiling water… or commit the cardinal sin by adding milk first to the teabag. Dish water looks more appealing compared to what some people offer.

Mind you, this is with the SL born, eye candy for women Jeff Janze –yep he is one handsome bloke – gracing our TV screens with his smashing self to educate the virtues of a good cuppa to panting women .


Anyway back to cafes- menus are chock-a-block with choices and in all honesty, most of them are much of a muchness, except the ones with foreign ingredients in the brew or the weird sounding ones.

To name a few ……..

‘Espresso Supremo’ – Does that mean there is a bit of Prabakaran in the mix?

‘Liquid Chocolate’ – Oooh.. ahh..Second only to liquid gold.

‘Mad Mocha’ – does this mean mad people drink it or nuts make it?

‘Choco Lust’ – what are they trying to sell here?


Then there is the gourmet range with sickeningly ooey gooey varieties enjoyed by the likes of my daughter. The other day she had something called ‘cookies and cream iced coffee’. Good to expand the waistline or visit the cardiologist I’d say.


I tried the hot chilli chocolate, thinking, my SL palate can handle the western heat of chilli. Boy was I wrong! I felt the heat down the throat while my eyelids fluttered with the blow.

I eat chilli, not drink it!

However, it was not in my spicy SL soul to make it apparent. So when barista asked if I enjoyed my drink, I did not let my smarting throat and hot ears get in the way of fibbing, “it was delicious” with a smile nonetheless. Come to think, it was not a fib really as the drink was delicious except for the unfamiliar heat.

I wonder about the scores of choices and question if it is to make our life difficult. As a fair and just person, it is only courteous that I return the kind thought by making their life a bit difficult with my request “can you please add half as much milk as you normally would and top it with hot water, and oh, make it hot, thanks” heh heh, I take pleasure in childish pranks sometimes.


Invariably I have to repeat the above request to the barista who gets a bit ruffled with the order and asks, “You don’t want milk?” (I don’t recall asking for a black coffee). “Yes, I want milk” but “with half as much milk as you normally add (obviously the cup is half full then), and top it with hot water, and make it hot” hardly brain surgery is it? Oh ok, maybe rocket science.


You have to ask for a hot coffee if you enjoy your drink at a decent heat like me. All cafes have a tendency to serve them warm. It sure strips the joy out of the whole experience. At first I thought their motive is to move the customers like a conveyer belt and keep filling the tables.

Apparently, I am told, it is to protect the owners from litigation in case a customer scalds himself/herself and decides to sue their pants off. Greedy and unscrupulous people sure spoil it for the rest of us.

So, I have learnt to ask “Can I have my coffee hot please”.

I promise I won’t burn myself and if I do, I will put it down to, me being clumsy and will not hold you liable.

How ridiculous does it sound when you have to request your hot beverage be hot?

Not all cafes can make a perfect caffeine hit though all use premium beans and expensive machines. I think all coffee lovers or should I say café lovers know it narrows down to the one behind the coffee machine.

There is a place nearby where they make mocha to die for on days a particular guy is behind the machine. Sipping his blissfully velvety creations really is a gratifying experience.

On days he is not working, don’t even bother going in.


Somehow, watching the coffee man do his wonders with his swish machines and aerators, take me back to (sometimes) when I watched ‘thea yare’ ( or ‘yard of tea’-that is what we called them) being made in dosai kades in SL, without any fancy machines, just two metal cups, yet produce a wonderful cuppa, albeit sickeningly sweet.


Yeah I know ‘Kade’ has nothing to do with ‘café’, but hey, I am allowed to deviate every now and then if one scene reminds me of another, am I not? Look at the heading and the afterthought.

So yeah, I’ll keep going with my reminiscing- I used to watch in awe as the man poured and stretched the tea from one cup to the other, with one hand raised higher than his head, giving an illusion of elongated tea, yet not a drib on the floor.



7 comments so far

  1. Azrael on


  2. Indyana on

    I love coffee as well, but can’t really make out the difference between the various kinds.I’ve tried that
    pouring tea from one glass to another thing…splatters all over the floor!

  3. Lady divine on

    I love coffee!!!!!!
    and before Barista came, we didn’t quite have a coffee culture, atleast in the upper segment of people…
    and the cafe culture can be very addictive.. but nice..:-)
    So enjoy while it lasts…:-D

  4. mia on

    Azrael, does that mean you like coffee? : )

    Indyana, I think it is ridiculous the amount of choices we have to deal with.

    LD, I know, there is something about the cafes isn’t it? Why enjoy while it lasts? I don’t think it will go anywhere.;)

  5. The Jester on

    I usually have coffee at home, and think most of the other coffee available here is, to be precise, super heated shmuch. Yes, I DID scald myself once.

    Nescafe’s fine, but the rest of the brands are just… blech. I usually use Bru, I think, when I can get it down.

  6. mia on

    Oh you poor boy, jester. Did you cry ? 🙂

  7. The Jester on

    No, I just killed them all with my death rays…

    How in the world do you drink that stuff? It’s like drinking boiling water!

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