Kape ng Malay sa Pilipinas at “Belgian Waffles”

Famous Belgian Waffles
Alabang, Philippines

Filipino

 

Habang nag-iintay sa wala, napadaan ako sa isang kapihan sa isang mall sa Alabang, sa Pilipinas. Ito ay ang isang bagong bilihan ng minindal na pagkain na kung tawagin ay “Belgian Waffles.”  Sa ilang beses akong napapadaan doon, maraming tao ang laging nakapalibot at naghihintay sa kanilang order.  Dahil maliit lamang ang bilihang ito, parang mga langgam ang mga tao kung minsan na nagkukumpol dito.  At dahil ako ay nagkaroon ng interes malaman kung bakit marami ang tumatangkilik nito, huminto ako rito at tiningnan ang menu.  


Tamang-tama, magaan sa aking bulsa.  Madali lamang pati pumili pagkat ilan lamang naman ang pagpipilian na parang flavor lamang sa mga bilihan ng milk shakes ang mga fillings ng waffles.

 

Sa mga palaman ng waffles, napili ko ang blueberry-hindi blueberry creamcheese na siyang tinanong sa akin ng service crew upang makasigurado na hindi nga yung may halong creamcheese.  Hindi ko alam ngunit ang pakinig ko sa “blueberry creamcheese” ay masyadong maarte.  Gusto ko ng konti lang maarte.  Kaya nag-blueberry na lang ako.

Pagdating sa kulay, ang lagi ko napipili ay monotonous.  Isang kulay lang lagi.  Kaya blueberry lang.  Tulad ng sa bag, blouse o dress na aking binibili kadalasan.  Ayaw ko ng masyadong maraming magkakasamang kulay sa iisang bagay.  ImageTulad ng aking bag, iisa lamang ang kulay—luntian kung luntian.  Kung minsan naman ay purong dilaw o purong khaki.  Kung printed naman, dalawang kulay lamang—itim at gray o kaya’y asul at puti.  Laging monochromatic.  Dito ako masaya ngayon.

Balik tayo sa Belgian waffles.  Ang sarap nga naman na may kapareha na kape ito.  Unang beses pa lamang ako nakatikim ng kape ng bansang Malaysia—ang kanilang puting kape.  Ang Malaysian coffee na nasa menu ang unang nakaagaw pansin sa akin sa tatlong mainit na inumin na pagpipiliang pwedeng orderin maliban sa strong Malaysian coffee at hot chocolate.  Gusto ko talagang uminom ng kape nun para umupo at magmuni-muni.

Ibang klase ang kape na ito.  Nagustuhan ko siya talaga.  Tamang tama ang lasa.  Mayroon siyang parang creamer at kaunting tamis ngunit may malambot siyang tapang.  Ang nakalagay sa cup ay Chek Hup, White Coffee.  Talaga lamang, tinanong ko ang isa sa mga nagsisilbi kung bakit ito tinawag na puting kape ngunit hindi niya daw alam kung bakit.  Tinanong ko din kung ang may-ari ay Malaysian o lokal, ang sabi niya ay Pilipino. 
ImageMarami pang katanungan ang sumunod mula sa akin patungkol sa pagkain ngunit ang alam lamang niya ay ang unang “Famous Belgian Waffles” na bilihan dito sa Pilipinas ay nagbukas sa SM North (isang malaking mall sa hilaga ng Maynila) at ang sangay na ito sa Alabang Festival Mall ay nagbukas nang nakaraang Disyembre lamang.  Napagtanto ko, ang mga taong ito kadalasan ay hindi na inaalala kung ano ang kanilang tinitinda, ang mahalaga ay mayroon silang trabaho at masaya lamang sila na ginagawa ito.  Di tulad ko, kung ako ang nasa kanilang lagay, gusto ko talagang malaman kung ano ba ang aking tinitinda, ang kasaysayan nito at lahat ng detalye na aking makakalap upang maunawaan kong mabuti ang aking trabaho.  Ngunit, yun ay ako.

At dahil tunay akong interesado sa kapeng ito, hinanap ko sa google ang tungkol dito upang makasiguro sa baybay nito at kung ano nga ba talaga ito.
Aba, ito pala ay isang popular na instant coffee sa bansang Malaysia.  Ito ay tinatawag pa lang “Ipoh White Coffee”  na kung saan ang pangalan ay hango sa lugar na pinagmulan nito—sa Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.  At ang Chek Hup ay pinaka-malamang nagmula sa mga Intsik na sa wari ay nagpakilala ng kapeng ito sa pamamagitan ng mga dayuhang Tsino na nagpunta roon para sa pagmimina ng lata (tin) sa lugar na iyon.

Bakit puting kape?

Nagulat ako sa paraan ng paggawa ng kape nila at gusto kong makita sa totoo kung paano ito ginagawa.  Ang sabi sa aking nakalap na impormasyon mula sa isang artikulo sa Internet, may dalawang pangunahing paraan ng pagsangag ng kape na ginagawa sa Malaysia.  Ang isa ay ang tradisyunal na istilo sa “itim” na kape sa pamamagitan ng pagsasangag ng mga buto ng kape (coffee beans) ng may asukal, margarina at trigo (wheat).  At ang isa naman ay sa pagsasangag ng mga buto ng kape ng may kasamang maragarina lamang at walang asukal na siyang nagbubunga ng hindi gaanong maitim na sangag (roast) at ayun, ito ay tinawag na puting kape.

Nakakatuwa naman na malaman ang mga ganitong bagay.  Mayroon pa lang ganitong kape na para sa akin ay higit na mas masarap sa ibang mga mamahaling kape na aking natikman na.  Siguro ay dahil ito ang pinakamalapit sa aking mga ninuno.

 

P.S.

Oo nga pla, ang instant coffee na aking nagustuhan dito sa Pilipinas ay “Kopiko.”  Ang tawag sa tradisyunal na “black” coffee style na sangag na kape sa Malaysia ay “Kopi-O.”

 

English

While waiting for nothing, I happened to pass by a coffee shop at a mall in Alabang, Philippines. This is one of the new coffee/snack bars where you can buy a snack called “Belgian Waffles.”  In the many times I pass by that snack bar, there are many people surrounding the booth (food cart is its classification when I googled it but it looks more like a booth to me) while waiting for their orders.  Because this food booth is kind of small, people surrounding it look like ants gathering around it.  And because of my curiosity, I stopped by and looked at the menu.  Great, it’s affordable.  And it’s easy to choose since there are only few choices of fillings for the waffles just like choosing flavors in milk shake food carts.

Of all the fillings for the waffles, I happen to choose blueberry—not the blueberry creamcheese, which the service crew asked me just to make sure it’s not really the one with the creamcheese.  I don’t know but when I hear “blueberry creamcheese,” it sounds too “maarte.”   I like a little bit of “arte.”  That’s why I just chose blueberry.

When it comes to color, I usually happen to prefer monotonous ones.  Always one color.  That’s why just blueberry.  Just like in bag, blouse or dress that I often buy.  I don’t like having many colors in one thing.  Just like my bag, if it’s green, it’s green.  Sometimes it’s pure yellow or untainted khaki.  If it’s printed, only two colors—black and gray or blue and white.  Always monochromatic.  This is where I’m happy now.

Back to Belgian waffles.  It’s really flavorsome to partner it with a cup of coffee.  It’s the first time that I’ve tasted coffee from Malaysia—the white coffee they have.  The Malaysian coffee they have in the menu is the first thing that captured my attention among the three hot beverages they offer aside from strong Malaysian coffee and hot chocolate.  I really wanted to drink coffee that time to sit and relax.

The coffee is really something else.  I like it.  It tastes exactly right.  It has something like creamer and a little bit of sweetness but it has a soft strength.  The one written in the cup is Chek Hup, White Coffee.  I actually asked one of the service crews why is it called white coffee but she said she doesn’t know.  I also asked if the owner is a Malaysian or local, she said it’s Filipino.  Further questions ensued from me about the food but all she knows is that the first “Famous Belgian Waffles” food cart opened at SM North Edsa (a big mall in North of Manila), and this branch in Alabang Festival Mall opened only last December.  I realize, these people most of the time don’t really mind what they sell, what is important is that they have a job and they’re just happy to do it.  Unlike me, if I were in her shoes, I would really want to know what I sell, its history and all the details I could get to better understand my job.  Well, it’s just me.

And because I’m really curious about this coffee, I googled it to make sure of the spelling and to know what is it really.  Oh, it’s a popular instant coffee in Malaysia.  It’s actually called “Ipoh White Coffee,” owing the name to where it originated—in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.  And the Chek Hup, most probably from the Chinese who apparently introduced the coffee in Malaysia in early 19th century through Chinese migrants who came to work for tin mining in the area.

Why white coffee?

I was surprised to know how they produce their coffee and I want to see for real how they do it.  According to the gathered information I got from an article in the Internet, there are two main processes on how the coffee beans are being roasted in Malaysia.  One is that the traditional style with the black coffee is by roasting the coffee beans with sugar, margarine and wheat. And the other one is roasting coffee beans with only margarine and without sugar, which results in less dark color, so, it’s called “white coffee.”

It is so fun learning this kind of things.  I didn’t know that this kind of coffee exists, which for me tastes even better than the expensive ones I’ve tasted.  Maybe because it is closest to my ancestors.

P.S.

And by the way, the instant coffee that appeals to me here in the Philippines is “Kopiko.”  The traditional Malaysian roast “black” coffee style is called “Kopi-O.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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