As I think about the places I love in Stanley, I'm conscious of the fact that for me, My Stanley is about people. Derek, Kieve and Man at The Cupping Room are who keep me going back, though having the best coffee in town helps, too!
The Cupping Room is relatively new to Stanley, but in the few months that they've been here, they've already established a healthy customer base. We met Man first. She stands outside their lovely shop offering free samples of their yummy chocolates. My kids love her, as much for the free samples as for her sweet smile. I love that she speaks to them exclusively in Cantonese.
|Cally gets a free sample from Man.|
For a treat, I'll give the girls (and Buddy if he's with me) a two dollar coin so they can go and buy just a handful of chocolates. Ella likes the white chocolate covered strawberries, Cally likes the rasberry yogurt ones and Buddy likes the chocolate honeycomb ones. They, of course, know which ones my kids prefer and helped Grandad put a box together to take home to surprise the kids yesterday.
|Kieve helps Ella pick chocolates.|
Kieve is married to Derek. She's lived in Stanley practically her whole life and, like me, shares the same sentiments about some of the changes taking place. Stanley Plaza, where The Cupping Room is located, is a totally different place than it was when we moved here. I fear it's losing the charm of the personalities who work here. I'm glad that The Cupping Room has this charm. I feel like I have my own coffee hangout again like I did at Cool Beans in Madison.
Kieve makes the yummiest pastries (not the croissants) in a tiny little oven in their shop.
|Strawberry and lemon poppyseed cupcakes.|
My favorite are her scones. She serves them warm with jam and clotted cream. And, they are so delicious. The perfect compliment to my latte.
Then there's Derek, the barista. He's an artisan, really. On one of my first visits to have a latte, he was talking to my friend about opening the shop. I'm just doing what I love, he explained.
There's no doubt how much he loves this when you notice the attention to detail he uses in preparing each cup of coffee. Nothing is rushed, it's always the perfect temperature and the foam is like art.
It's easy to see why he won 2nd runner up in the HK Barista Competition in 2011.
He knows so much about brewing techniques, the beans, everything. Hardly anyone takes their drinks away because it's all about the experience of enjoying it right there.
Thanks to Derek, Kieve and Man, I look forward to my coffee shop trips even more now.