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How I Met Your Coffee? Part 2

重新認識咖啡的浪漫史 II

In the early days of Re-store (the thrift store I ran back in Taiwan), many people thought that we were a coffee shop. But because I did not drink coffee back then, I was not looking to sell it. During that time, several coffee distributors visited us, hoping to persuade me to sell their coffee at my store. It would be several thousands for the coffee master courses, tens of thousands for the coffee roaster, plus another tens of thousands for the commercial coffee machines. Basically, I had to spend at least thirty to forty thousand US dollars in order to make a cup of coffee for customers. The crazy part was, the sample coffees they brought for tasting gave me such bad palpitations that I had to chug two beers afterwards to reduce the agitation! Which is why, in our first two years of business, we only sold winter melon tea and beer. That is, until I met “Ze Coffee”.

之前在台灣經營愛蕊商行二手商店的初創時期,很多人以為我們是咖啡店,但因為我當時並不喝咖啡,所以一直沒有賣咖啡的意願。當初也有幾個咖啡廠商來拜訪,希望說服我賣咖啡,十幾萬的咖啡達人課程,五十幾萬的烘豆機,再加上五十幾萬的商用義式咖啡機。基本上,我必須花上百萬台幣才能沖一杯咖啡給客人喝。矛盾的是他們給我試喝的咖啡,我必須灌上兩瓶啤酒才能緩解那咖啡給我帶來的心悸。於是,營業的前兩年,我們店裡只有賣冬瓜茶跟啤酒。直到我遇到了嘖咖啡。

Aaron having a coffee roasting session with the customers. 阿鈜無私藏的跟來店裡學習陶鍋烘豆的客人傳授秘訣。

In 2018, Aaron from Ze Coffee reached out to me with the idea of coming to my shop to sell coffee. After my mother’s funeral, I returned to Taipei. We met up a second time, after only meeting him once. I told him that the condition I cared about the most if we wanted to work together was to donate one-tenth of our revenue to charity. If he disagreed with this term, there was no need to talk about anything else. For a small business run by two people, to donate one-tenth of their earnings, it would be a lot of pressure. But they didn’t hesitate to agree. And so our collaboration was decided upon at our second meeting.

在 2018 年,他主動聯絡我提出有興趣來我的店裡賣咖啡的想法。在幫母親處理完後事回到台北後,就相約與只見過一次面的嘖咖啡老闆阿鈜第二次碰面。我跟他說要一起合作,我最在意的唯一條件,就是要把營業額的十分之一捐作公益,如果沒辦法,其他就不必談了。要求一間兩人經營的小咖啡店捐出十分之一的營業額,其實會有很大的壓力,但是他毫不猶豫地答應了。而我們的合作關係,就在見面第二次決定了。

I remember asking him if I needed to prepare anything. “I have no coffee equipment except cups and tableware at my store; how are we going to start selling coffee?” I asked. He just smiled. The next day, he brought a portable butane stove, a clay pot, a small coffee grinder, a gooseneck kettle, a bamboo sieve, a few raw coffee beans from his shop, and that was it. Then he began to roast the coffee beans right there in front of our store and started to sell coffee right there and then. From that day on, I started to reacquaint myself with coffee, and our shop was filled with the wonderful aroma of coffee at all times.

我當初也問他,那需要準備什麼嗎?除了杯子、餐具什麼咖啡的設備都沒有,該怎麼開始賣咖啡?他笑而不答。隔日,他只從他店裡帶了一個卡式爐、一只陶鍋、一個小磨豆機、一個手沖壺、一個篩網、幾款咖啡生豆,就開始在門口烘炒起了咖啡豆,賣起了咖啡。從那天起,我重新認識了咖啡,我們的店裡也開始時時刻刻充滿了濃郁的咖啡香氣。

Aaron roasting coffee in front of our store. 阿鈜在我們的店門口專心炒豆。

The loss of my mother changed my life in many ways. Psychologically, old mental disorders resurfaced, and I struggled with maintaining a mental state that could be out of control at any time, a fragile relationship with my family, and a thrift store with very little business. A year later, I had to face reality, and I asked Ze Coffee if they would be willing to move their coffee shop to our location permanently and take over the first floor storefront, so I could downsize the thrift store to just the second floor. In this way, we could share rent, as well as share the pressures of running a business by working side by side. For an established coffee shop to move to another location, this would take a lot of courage. But without hesitation, Aaron agreed. And so our partnership began in our second year of collaboration.

失去了母親,讓我的生活上產生了不少變化。心理上舊疾復發,硬撐著為了維持隨時都可能失控的精神狀態、家庭關係與一間生意不怎麼樣的二手商店。一年過後,我也決定面對現實,跟嘖咖啡提議,希望他們直接將他們的咖啡店遷移至我們這間老屋,接手一樓店面,而我可以將二手店縮減至二樓。如此我們可以一起分擔房租,也同時分擔了獨自經營的壓力。要求一間已經生意穩定的咖啡店,大費周章地遷移,其實需要很大的勇氣,但是阿鈜也毫不猶豫地答應了。而我們的夥伴關係,就在合作第二年開始了。

Cheryl, owner/barista at Ze Coffee, hand pouring coffee at the new storefront. 小鹿,嘖咖啡的老闆/咖啡師,在搬遷後的新店面裡沖咖啡。

If you are currently in Taiwan or think about going to visit Taiwan, map below is their location. Or go visit their website at Zeroast.com. Go sit down and enjoy a cup of fine roasted coffee!!

如果你現在人在台灣或有準備去拜訪台灣,下面地圖是他的位置,或去拜訪他們的網站Zeroast.com!! 歡迎去他們店裡坐下,享受一杯優質的精品咖啡。

There are more to this story, please keep following our page for more stories to come.

後續還有更多關於重新認識咖啡的精彩故事,請持續關注我們的動態!!

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