Friday, February 8, 2013

Black Coffee Breakdown

I haven't had a solid cup of coffee in 6 months. 

Hong Kong is a city devoid of coffee pots. Now, this may seem a trivial detail in such a rich and bountiful cultural experience, but dammit, I need some black coffee. Everything here is single serving, artisan blended, heavy on cream luxury cups. Which I'm going to extrapolate into a greater metaphor for HK.

Let's digress and talk for a second about something that is integral to life in Hong Kong: Ferrero Rocher. Spherical, fancy, delicious Ferrero Rocher chocolate. It is as prevalent here as Beats By Dre headphones and smart phones as big as your face. And I don't know why. Perhaps a ship ran aground off the coast, leaving it's hundreds of containers of this decadent dessert to the mercy of every single supermarket and convenience store in the city. There are monolithic displays in stores, perfect cubes stacked three meters tall, entirely made of Ferrero Rocher boxes. It's like walking through the opening scene of Wall-E, with it's monolithic garbage towers, except said garbage is delicious chocolate. I think that this particular confectionery may be as much a status symbol as it is a candy, embodying the perfect midpoint between luxury and functionality. It's not the cheapest chocolate on the market, but it's not outrageously priced either. It's not the highest quality you can get, but it's not the bottom shelf either. It comes in small quantities, meant to be enjoyed individually. It's Hong Kong, encapsulated.

Which brings me back to coffee. Coffee is like chocolate here. It straddles the line between luxurious and functional. Each cup is good, don't get me wrong. It may not be the best cup of joe you've ever had, but it's pretty darn good. And you only get one cup, ever. No Denny's endless refills here. No reheating of old pots or the endless changing of filters. It's good, solid coffee.

But I just want a cheap, strong, black pot of coffee sometimes. To go with my Ferrero Rocher.

*Photo by Daryl Chapman's Automotive Photography

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