Agent Cafe/野棧咖啡


Agent Cafe

◎English translation: Peng Hsin-yi


  Kezihliao Fish Market in Kaohsiung's Zihguan District has become a tourist favorite over the past couple of years. On weekends and holidays, people from out of town gather in this fishing town like the inflow of high tide. Most of them come here to buy the day's catch from the market's fish mongers, but many also stop by Agent Cafe, a small coffee shop situated right beside the fish market, for a refreshing drink of ice coffee. Many are returning customers who say the ice coffee here has a smooth taste which goes really well with seafood.

  Agent Cafe is owned and managed by Mr. Luo Shi-guo. When he got started about four years ago, the coffee shop was actually in the middle of the fish market, and having such an unconventional location helped win him the attention he needed. Through word of the mouth alone, he established a good customer base, and his ice coffee often sold out on weekends and holidays. But good luck only accounts for half of his success. Before getting the spot in the fish market, he spent six month as a street vendor, selling AeroPress Coffee. That is how he did his market research, figuring out the tastes and preferences of his intended customers.

  Mr. Luo says a smooth feeling in one's mouth is vital, but achieving that effect involves a lot of steps. He does not use ice cubes, to ensure his coffee remains at the same intensity and texture from first sip to last, and so the flavor does not weaken even when it has been sitting for a while and become room temperature. One of his tricks to keep the ice coffee icy cold is to serve it in a chilled beer mug. He stirs the coffee before serving so the aroma of the coffee comes forth. Also, the stirring produces a layer of frothy foam on top, making the coffee resemble beer. His ice coffee has become so popular; he has even started selling it in bottles so customers can take it home.

  On a regular day, this coffee shop is a heaven for local customers. They drink ice coffee and chat with old friends. Coffee with a side-serving of ocean views seems all the more delicious. Nobody notices the passing of time. Mr. Luo checks his phone and casually mentions: "The sun will dive into the ocean between 6:38 and 6:40 p.m. at this time of the year." It is a scene you will not find anywhere else.

   Agent Cafe       Kezihliao Fish Market, Zihguan District, Kaohsiung      
FB:Agent Cafe









   野棧咖啡       高雄市梓官區蚵仔寮觀光漁市      
FB:Agent Cafe



Siaoti Coffee Shop

◎English translation: Peng Hsin-yi


  Siaoti Coffee Shop has been in business since 1979, and in this place, even time itself seems to linger. Visiting Siaoti on a regular day, one is likely to run into a handful of customers sipping coffee while they read newspapers and enjoy a tranquil home-like atmosphere. The coffee is siphon brewed, and free breakfast is served until 11 a.m. every day. Ms. Yan Hui-lan, Siaoti's only waitress, says the tradition of free breakfast with coffee started as a considerate thought for those who came in during the early hours, so they would not have to start the day with coffee on an empty stomach.

  Ms. Yan has been working at Siaoti for thirty years. When a customer sits down, she brings an iced towel to the table, an especially welcoming gesture on blazing hot days. Returning customers do not even have to place their orders, as she can always remember what they want. And in no time, the coffee and the plate with toast, a slice of ham, plus two eggs prepared to order and drizzled with a little soy sauce, appears on your table. The breakfast looks mundane but is incredibly delicious.

  Most of the returning customers come for the siphon brewed coffee. In Ms. Yan's practiced hands, each cup is made with two or three kinds of coffee beans which are ground only when ordered, and the cups are rinsed in hot water before the coffee is poured. This is a coffee shop where customers are treated as family members. There is nothing fancy, but the basic principles have been observed day after day without fail.

  A customer who has been frequenting Siaoti for thirty years swears by the siphon brewed coffee, saying: "Other coffee simply won't do! Besides, I have made a lot of friends by coming here." Because the coffee is piping hot, one has to sip it and thus savor the flavors rather than gulp it down. The siphon brew has a pronounced note of acidity, but ends with an undertone of sweetness. The aroma profile is complex. The coffee perfectly expresses Siaoti's personality: every sip is worth savoring.

  Having developed a loyal base of old customers, Siaoti has become a place where friends meet. As they finish their coffee and breakfast, they bid each other good-bye, knowing they will see each other again tomorrow morning.

   Siaoti Coffee Shop       No. 10, Lane 40, Yancheng Street, Yancheng District, Kaohsiung








  一位光臨「小堤」30年的老主顧說:「虹吸式咖啡和一般的咖啡就是不一樣 !來這還可遇見老朋友。」啜飲著咖啡,帶著酸又回甘,滋味豐富,就像「小堤」的人情味,讓人再三回味。


   小堤咖啡專門店        高雄市鹽埕區鹽埕街40巷10號