⟨ I Know I'll Often Stop and Think About Them ⟩

07-This Is Cappuccino

Words & Photography / Holun Tang
Translation / Fanny Chan

坐在這裡的沙發上,整個人一下子地放鬆了,方才發現,身體這樣長期的繃緊著,像把拳頭用力握緊五分鐘,然後鬆開,會開始不由自主地輕輕發抖。

每一個星期五晚上,我都盡可能趕快下班,希望在七點前來到這裡,那至少我還可以坐上一個小時。

Sitting on the couch here, my body relaxes instantly and it makes me realize how tightened up my body has been for such a long time; as if clenching your fist for five minutes straight, your hand trembles involuntarily after letting go.

Every Friday night, I try to get off work as early as possible hoping to be here before seven o’clock so that I can sit for at least an hour.

我向咖啡師說一聲「Cap」,這是我們的暗號,其實是Cappuccino的簡稱。五分鐘後,她走過來,弓起身子,小心翼翼地把咖啡放在茶几上,這個動作必須非常小心,像走鋼索的人,為的是不要驚動咖啡上快溢瀉的奶泡。這一口咖啡,讓我落淚。

為甚麼這個城市好像只需要日間的咖啡店?我們的心靈在晚上不是更需要被慰藉嗎?

“Cap.” I said to the barista. This is our secret code which actually is the short form for Cappuccino. Five minutes later, she came over, lowering her body to carefully place my coffee on the table. In order not to muddle the overflowing milk foam of my coffee, she had to be very careful, like a tightrope walker. I took a sip of coffee, and tears filled my eyes.

Why does it seem like this city only needs coffee shops during the day? Don’t we need more comfort at night?

每次推門走進來,不管外面是晴是雨,不管心情是好是壞,彌漫整個房間的咖啡香總是讓我安心,我知道我可以在這裡躺一會兒,一會兒就好。除了咖啡師自己一個,這裡就只有兩張沙發,和一張二人座的小餐桌。設限的人數換來家常的風景。餐單常被抱怨只有義式咖啡,咖啡師心情好才會弄一點甜食。店裡會播放我平常不收聽的收音機節目,有時候一天的時間就這樣隨著節目變更而流轉,也不壞,尤其在那些不安定的日子。

Whether it was a sunny day or a rainy day, a good day or a bad day, every time I pushed through the door, the lingering aroma of coffee comforted me. I knew that I could lie down here for a little bit, just a little bit. Besides the barista herself, there are two couches and a small dining table for two; the limited number of guests allowed creates a homely scene. Many people complain about espresso being the only type of coffee that is served, or that the barista only prepares desserts when she’s in a good mood, and that the radio programmes play in the shop are the types that I don’t usually listen to. Sometimes the days passed by as the radio played, which wasn’t bad, especially on those restless kinds of days.

由於咖啡師本人格外喜歡Cappuccino,我在這裡嚐到了真正的Cappuccino。她花時間專注料理每杯咖啡,問候每位回頭光顧的客人。Cappuccino不是Latte,懂得的人始終不多,它沒有奪目的拉花,只是一杯內斂細膩的咖啡飲料。適當的溫度,咖啡與牛奶的碰撞交融,每喝一口,綿密的奶泡沾到嘴邊,暖意在心上柔軟著陸。

當它接觸到其他人的人生,說不定它會輕輕地扶你一把,其中也包括了我自己。
「今天的咖啡還好嗎?」她如常走來問我。
「很好。」真的很好。只是言詞總是無法好好表達謝意。

Since the barista has a personal preference for Cappuccinos, I get to have the real thing here. She focuses on making every cup of coffee, and greets every returning guest. Unlike Lattes, Cappuccinos are quite unknown to some people; it has no eye-catching latte milk art, just a cup of subtle and delicate coffee with frothy milk. At the proper temperature, coffee and milk collide and blend together. With every sip, the thick and heavy foam touches my lips and gently warms my heart.

When it touches the lives of others, maybe it will lift them up, just like how it has lifted me.
“How’s the coffee today?” She asked, as usual.

“Really good.” And it is really good. Just that words always fail to express my gratitude.