The Pair of Benches

The pair of benches rest side by side in front of the café counter. Behind the counter, the siphonists are making coffee; there are many orders but they take their time, making sure their full attention is given to each cup of coffee crafted. This is love.

These benches are made from reclaimed wooden signboards, rescued from an old Chinese medicinal shop that was closed down some years ago. This happens, of course. Businesses come and go. Not all survive. But these businesses, at one point, when they were first started, must have been a labour of love.

The rescue was a labour of love, a piece of history preserved. Quite a lot of wood in the café, all reclaimed and recycled. This pair of benches are lovers reunited, watching over each other, providing rest for the patrons who come and go. Not all patrons return. But many do, for they enjoy the coffee and the atmosphere and the quiet craft of the siphonists. They return for the labour of love.

This pair of benches have been given more time. They stand together, they witness. Life, the café, the coffee, the love.


24 Responses

  1. FiSh April 9, 2012 / 12:10 am

    everything goes in a cycle :) i love the coffee art where people are passionate in doing their jobs, while others are appreciating what they’ve done

    • Kenny Mah April 9, 2012 / 8:33 am

      It’s a two-way street certainly — for every person working hard at their craft, there needs to be those who can enjoy and appreciate it.

  2. Sean April 9, 2012 / 12:31 am

    and eventually, when this cafe reaches the end of its life (as all cafes must do), it’ll be nice to imagine that the pair of benches will be bequeathed to another cafe, or a home, or even a park, where someone like you will notice them, note their value and maybe write about them again :D

    • Kenny Mah April 9, 2012 / 8:36 am

      I wonder what (and where) is the oldest (and still running) café in the world? Let’s go visit it!

    • Sean April 10, 2012 / 1:22 am

      where’s the oldest cafe in the world? i’m guessing europe! now that would be quite the expedition :D

    • Kenny Mah April 10, 2012 / 8:23 am

      Let’s make a trip to Europe then — and hunt down this oldest of cafés! Jom jalan-jalan!

  3. The Yum List April 9, 2012 / 7:20 am

    I love old pieces of furniture – they have character and stories to tell.

    • Kenny Mah April 9, 2012 / 8:31 am

      Very, very true — and their stories can keep us enthralled visit after visit. A magical atmosphere.

  4. jemima April 9, 2012 / 9:44 am

    One day when you visit my house, you’ll be amazed by the old furniture we have at home.

    • Kenny Mah April 9, 2012 / 2:39 pm

      I shall look forward to that day, dear.

  5. Augustdiners April 9, 2012 / 1:39 pm

    i’ve been meaning to go there for the longest time, but never seem to be able to motivate myself to go to that side of town. Can u ask the boss to consider another outlet? hehehe!

    • Kenny Mah April 9, 2012 / 2:40 pm

      Will let you know if they open another outlet. For now, this part of town’s really perfect since it’s near Devil’s office and it’s part of old KL.

  6. Baby Sumo April 9, 2012 / 3:49 pm

    I visited a hotel restaurant once, thinking the furniture was brand new. Was so surprised when I was told that they were reclaimed furniture which has been reupholstered. And the place was also filled with old wood etc giving it so much character.

    • Kenny Mah April 9, 2012 / 3:57 pm

      Why throw away perfectly good stuff that has so much character, right?

  7. luuworld April 9, 2012 / 11:37 pm

    sounds like a super nice place. i like that they’ve reused things. that gives stuff soul! checked out your article too. i like places that take coffee seriously!

    • Kenny Mah April 10, 2012 / 8:31 am

      Oh yes. Talk about serious… and we’re heading there again tonight, after work. Coffee drinkers unite!

  8. missyblurkit April 10, 2012 / 2:09 am

    i am curious if the benches could speak…then we can hear the stories they could tell us from their earlier days at the medicine shop.

    • Kenny Mah April 10, 2012 / 8:33 am

      “If these benches could speak…” Sounds like some Hallmarrk/HBO movie?

  9. hm April 10, 2012 / 3:25 am

    Still enjoying reading your daily musings but have never heard of the word siphonists before. From your description, they are known to be baristas. Just checking. :)

    • Kenny Mah April 10, 2012 / 8:35 am

      Both baristas and siphonists make and serve coffee; the former using the commonplace espresso machines and the latter using a siphon device to make hot brew coffee.

      I’ll write more about the difference some day. Hurrah!

    • hm April 10, 2012 / 4:14 pm

      Siphonist is not a word in yet but I saw images in a google search (what on earth would we do without this?).

      Interesting although I am not a coffee drinker and I will wait patiently to read about the difference from you, some day.

      Thanks for the clarification. :)

    • Kenny Mah April 10, 2012 / 4:18 pm

      Haha, it’s not just you; I google words all the time too. I guess new words are invented every day and enter common usage through frequent, well, use.

      Maybe I should just interview a barista and a siphonist and see how that goes.

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