Thursday, 10 November 2016

Coffee Shop

Three elderly people work here. Two ladies and one man. A lady with horn rimmed glasses and a yellow sweater greets me. She gets a regular to move seats and much fussing and laughing ensues. I do my best foreigner bit. I sit down.

I am sat at the bar, the row of seats around the counter where they make the food and coffee. It runs around in a half circle/square shape. I am sat on the shortest end with a view down the long counter, where a gentleman is working with the coffee and eggs. I'll get to that.

I am given a towel (paper, wrapped in plastic), iced water and am promptly asked to order from the breakfast service menu. I order the set with a hot drink (coffee), toast and a boiled egg. Sitting back on the chair that squeaks I get a feel of the sexy green crocodile skin upholstery. The chair swivels and is rooted to the spot.  The music that's playing is The Mamas and the Papas. One of my all time favourites. I wait to hear the track change in case it is the radio. Next is Chantilly Lace-Big Bopper. Early 60's stuff.

In front of me on the counter is a dark brown ashtray, I think it is plastic but it is that 50's stuff.. What is it called? To the left of that is a salt cellar with a dark brown faux wood top. The counter is dark brown wood. The walls are covered in dark brown bricks, faux bricks, I think. But they look stylish.

On the counter in front of the ashtray is a big golden, hand operated coffee grinder. It has a label that has a drawing of a beautiful woman with an afro. It looks well used and well cared for. Beyond this is the gentleman popping toast into one of those toaster ovens with a door, whilst handling boiled eggs and making coffee. The coffee is made in beautiful glass orbs. They are heated from below using a candle. A glass funnel is attached to the top. The coffee grinds go in, then boiling water. The gentleman stirs it deftly with a wooden handled brush. Steam is ballooning everywhere in the yellow light. It is cold out, about 12 degrees. The gold black coffee miraculously appears in the glass ball below.

The lighting is all warm and low. Yellow bulbs inside glass cases with leaded panes. Behind the counter are simple shelves holding cups. All the wood of the shelving is dark brown.

Coffee comes in a small white cup and saucer, with a nicely weighted silver spoon and a tiny, really tiny, steel jug of cream. Next a small wooden tray, with a piece of grease proof paper. On top there is one extra thick, extra buttery square of white toast, cut into two triangles. Next to that is a mint coloured plastic square, cut into two triangles by design. One half holds a white boiled egg, shell on. The other is an indented tray for the shell pieces.

I pick up the tiny jug of cream and drip it into my cup. I am totally delighted to see that the coffee doesn't turn immediately brown from black gold. There is a pause as the cream hits the bottom of the cup, then it reappears as white flourishing dots in the surface of the coffee, before I stir it in.

I enjoy my breakfast, although it shifts slightly once I reach the egg. I use the teaspoon to break into it, and a hacking and smoking gentleman comes and sits by me. The tension in the place raises a few degrees. I am not sure who he is, but the singles chatting on the other side of the bar stop and turn to their newspapers. The staff become uneasy.

He orders an iced coffee and the same set as me. When he reaches his egg he simply slams it down onto the counter, removes the shell in a couple of moves, and eats it very quickly.

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