Coffee Break

Working freelance, I have a very open schedule, and try to set aside time each day to have a coffee and read the paper(s) at a local cafe. This almost always ends up being one of a few modern-style cafes serving Italian coffee drinks. Today however, I went back to a more traditional, Chinese style coffee place I used to visit regularly a few years back. Unlike the places I usually go, which have music, a TV, air conditioning and wealthy Thai people talking loudly on cell phones, this place had one table that wasn't piled with the owners stuff (the shop also doubles as his living room), a screaming baby, and the employees at the next table eating a lunch of smelly fermented fish!

The place serves coffee the Chinese/Thai way, which means putting the loose grinds in a small sock-like filter, and pouring the hot water through that. This kind of coffee is very dark and thick, but acutally has little body, and isn't generally very good. It is either served hot, with sweetened condensed milk, or cold, with regular milk and lotsa ice:

Another specialty of this place, and other cafes like it, is grilled bread. Elsewhere this often takes the form of toast, but at this place they take soft rolls, gorge them with butter-flavored margarine, sprinkle with sugar, and grill in an oven, and chop them up:

Good, but real heavy, and real sweet.