Have you had a memorable coffee lately? Not only a special tasting coffee, but maybe you had a memorable experience while drinking the coffee. Coffee can make any occasion memorable, or the occasion can make the coffee memorable. Dr. Koh Soo Ling had two such coffee experiences. For her, it is the “enigmatic circumstances” surrounding her while drinking her coffee that leave the best memories, rather than the actual coffee. That’s probably because she likes simple coffee and finds the complex menus of today’s coffee shop a struggle. A Malaysian in Ireland, her favorite coffee experience was at a café in Limerick, where customers were treated to a live performance by an Italian maestro “belting out classics like ‘O Sole Mio’ “. Imagining herself in Italy, she reports that dream changed back to the reality of Ireland when the rain came down. The maestro took it in stride as he pulled out an umbrella and continued singing. Her second most memorable cup was in a Chinese restaurant also in Ireland. Her waiter turned out to be a fellow Malaysian, from Ipoh. After chatting about Malaysia and Ireland and enjoying meeting a fellow countryman, the time came for the dessert coffee. She asked if they had Ipoh coffee. He actually went and made a special Ipoh coffee for her. Ipoh coffee, named after a city in Malaysia where it originated, is also called white coffee. The designation of white or black refers to how the beans were roasted. White coffee’s beans are roasted only with margarine. Black coffee is from beans roasted with margarine and 60% burnt caramel and to which ground wheat or oats may be added. The writer comments, “To me that was paradise. It was certainly a taste of Malaysia in Ireland. As we continued our journey ….the taste of Ipoh coffee lingered on the lips.” Besides the memorable cups, the writer brings up another point. The coffee culture has reached a point where it’s a global language. Even in a coffee shop in Ireland, a Malaysian can order an Americano while listening to an Italian singer. All over the world, cafes serve lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, breve espressos, café au lait, frappes, filter coffee, Turkish coffee, Americanos etc. Now terms such as “flat white” from New Zealand are becoming internationalized. The coffee culture extends across all boundaries, which adds to its enjoyment. So what is your memorable coffee experience? Was it the surroundings or the specialness of the coffee origins, roast etc. that made it memorable? Brew on, memorably.
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