W&M Workshop - Philosophical Barista

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接續著「師」的採訪主題,在食物設計師陳小曼的介紹下,我來到台北市中山區的W&M Workshop。「希望可以介紹你自己很喜歡的咖啡師,而且是還沒有在社群上過度曝光的。」寫信給小曼的時候,我任性地開出這般條件。

因生病而重新調整的人生方向與行走的速度

W是W&M Workshop的主理人,幫手經營的,是W的雙胞胎弟弟M。前幾年W被醫生診斷出有心臟病,在2015年秋天做了心臟移植手術。M也在第一時間辭去全職工作照顧生病的哥哥。「W&M 是個紀念的象徵,兄弟倆是永遠的家人,也是永遠的朋友。」採訪當天身著米白色的W以緩慢的說話速度對我解釋著。

一直以來從事服務業的W常有機會與客人接觸,常在互動過程中有種被掏空的感覺,時間久了便產生疲乏。「我往往像個心理醫生,給予旁人輔導諮商。可是你知道嗎?我們自己也是需要被關心、被照顧的;那我從哪裡得到被照顧的需求呢?」W在生病後,心境上有很大的轉變。尤其在頻繁進出醫院的那段時期,每次都有種被打破再重組的感覺。也是在那段時期,W大量地看書,從文字上獲得溫暖與力量。

心臟移植後,醫生說即使恢復情況良好,W永遠都不可能恢復正常人的健康狀態與體能。因此在自我心情上的調適、在工作與生活中找到平衡、重新調整前進的速度,是W在手術後必須重新檢視的。以前個性急躁的他,因為追求工作上有好的結果,那份過於迫切的心就容易得罪他人,也沒有顧及旁人的感受,因為他從來沒有機會慢下來想想該如何圓融地運作手上事物。當然,生病後,必須放慢步調的他,才重新從不同角度看待眼前的人事物。

「不只是尋找更圓融的方式把事情完成,同時也提醒自己心要善良,心存善念。」心存善念這四個字頗為簡單,就是多替別人著想;只要多替別人想,打算出招的手就會伸回來、要罵人的嘴也會閉上。不過W說,回到根本,心存善念其實是他為了自己而開始的,藉由修潤自己的行為來成為一個更好的人,而這份好有益身心。

放慢生活速度同時,他也以刪去法把日常中沒有必要、不想做、不急迫的事情先省略不做,也省下自己的精力。如果這個世界都讓我們一直付出、一直給,那麼,我們也得學會成為那個可以照顧自己、呵護自己的人。

Under the introduction of Food Designer, Xiaoman Chen (Slow Chen), I came to W&M Workshop in Zhongshan District, Taipei. "I hope to introduce one of your favorite baristas, and this barista has not been overexposed in the social media." When I wrote to Xiaoman, I sent this wish arbitrarily.

The direction of life and the speed of progress

W is the director of W&M Workshop, and his twin brother, M helps him in the store. A few years ago, W was diagnosed with heart disease by a doctor and had a heart transplant in the fall of 2015. At the same time, M resigned from a full-time job to take care of W. "W&M is a symbol to commemorate. We are family and friends forever." On the day of the interview, W was dressed in beige and explained to me at a slow speaking speed.

W has always been in the service business and often has the opportunity to get in touch with customers. In the past, when he associated with customers, he often felt exhausted. "I was like a psychiatrist and gave counseling to others. But do you know? We also need to be cared for and taken care of; then where do I get the need?" Since he is suffering from heart illness, he has changed his mind and attitude, especially during the period of staying in the hospital. He had the feeling of being broken and reconstructed. It was also during that period that W read a lot of books and gained warmth and strength from the text.

After the heart transplant, the doctor said that even if W recovered well, it would never be possible to restore to the normal state of health. Therefore, to adjust the mood and to find a balance between work and life are necessary after surgery. In the past, he was impatient. He pursued good results in his work, and the overly urgent attitude would easily offend others because he never had the opportunity to slow down and think about how to operate things smoothly. Of course, after being sick, he must slow down, and then treat people with different perspectives.

"I don't just look for a smooth way to get things done, but also remind myself that I want to be kind and have positive thoughts." As long as you think about others, you will not harm others. However, W said that to have good faith is actually for himself. By improving his behavior to become a better person, this is good for the body, mind and health.

At the same time of slowing down the pace of life, W also omits the things that are unnecessary and not urgent to save his energy. If we have always been giving, then we have to learn to be the one who can take care of ourselves and care for ourselves.

Taipei Taiwan W&M Workshop Coffee Shop Interview - FUJIFilmXT33514 - Yes! Please Enjoy by Fanning Tseng-21.jpg
Taipei Taiwan W&M Workshop Coffee Shop Interview - FUJIFilmXT33514 - Yes! Please Enjoy by Fanning Tseng-10.jpg

W&M雙胞胎情誼

「生病很痛苦,所以我得自私地先讓自己好,這樣才能活下去;也才有機會讓大家一起好。否則,在我身旁的弟弟以及家人都會受到影響。」弟弟M從事財務的工作,W生病之後毅然辭去工作肩負起照顧哥哥、同時分擔他生活中的責任與義務。雙胞胎間的感情是我們無法輕易理解的,共同生活了那麼長的時間,所累積的默契與感應牽繫著彼此。那麼,讓自己的生活暫停,先幫哥哥把生命延續下去,這樣可以嗎?「我已經事先做了心態上的調整,而且,從來沒有想過不插手哥哥的生病事件。」M同樣以慢慢的說話速度回答著我。

採訪前,W表示他會單獨受訪,不過M會在一旁。採訪時,M就坐在咖啡館門口處的角落上,靜靜地聽著我們兩人對話。當話題延伸到他身上時,才偶爾地表達自己的想法。「這裡(咖啡館)是我的養分來源,等我慢慢恢復之後,他(M)也打算再重回職場去。工作上的事,我可以自己安排進度與速度,沒問題的。」兄弟兩人的外型不同,不過細看就會發現其實五官非常相像;聊過天後,也會慢慢感覺到兩人的個性同調。

我心裡偷偷想著,當時W生病時,M是不是也心痛著。

W&M Twins

"It's unpleasant to be unhealthy, so I have to be selfish to make myself fit so that I can live. And then, I have the opportunity to make everyone good. Otherwise, my brother and family around me would also be suffered." W's younger brother M is engaged in financial work. After W's illness, M resolutely left his job and took care of W while sharing W's responsibilities and duties in life. We do not easily understand the feelings between twins. They have lived together for such a long time, and the accumulated understanding and induction are connected. Well, is it okay to have a break in oneself's life and first help the brother to continue his life? "I have made my mind before, and I never thought about not to support my brother." M also answered me with a slow talk.

Before the interview, W said that he would interview with me and M would be on the sidelines but not joining us. In the interview, M sat in the corner of the cafe and listened quietly to our conversation. When the topic extended to him, he occasionally expressed his ideas. "Here (the cafe, W&M Workshop) is my source of nutrients. When I slowly recover, he (M) is going to return to his career. I can arrange my work. No problem." The appearances of the twins are different, but if you look closely, you will find that the facial features are similar. After chatting with both, you will slowly feel the homonym of them.

I secretly thought about it, when W was sick, was M's heart also hurt?

Taipei Taiwan W&M Workshop Coffee Shop Interview - FUJIFilmXT33514 - Yes! Please Enjoy by Fanning Tseng-7.jpg
Taipei Taiwan W&M Workshop Coffee Shop Interview - FUJIFilmXT33514 - Yes! Please Enjoy by Fanning Tseng-8.jpg

品酒也品咖啡

W以前是侍酒師,在餐廳工作的時候就有機會接觸義式咖啡,對於如何沖煮義式或是濃縮咖啡、打奶泡製作卡布其諾等都有基本的功力與知識。生病之後因為吃藥的關係不能再品酒,所以更是全心投入研究單品咖啡。

咖啡與酒兩者之間消費族群重疊的部分不多,因為酒精的緣故,大多人在日常中還是喝咖啡多過品酒。不過兩種飲品之間共通性蠻多,比如說顏色、溫度、產地與製造方式等。雖然酒的風味比咖啡濃烈,而咖啡較為虛無飄渺,不過沖泡好的咖啡在口感上也非常細緻,耐人尋味。

介紹咖啡時,W喜歡以淺顯易懂、容易有想像畫面的方式來讓客人瞭解。比如說,某些咖啡有像是桂花或是玉蘭花的橘色口感,嚐來有溫暖的甜感。同時,不只有口感也會有香氣;比如有白色花香像是野薑花的味道,而另外一些咖啡帶有紅紫色花香,像是玫瑰花或是紫羅蘭的氣味。另外,有些富有草莓或是堅果的香氣,這些,又與品葡萄酒是類似的體驗。

Tasting wine and coffee

W used to be a sommelier. When he was working in restaurants, he had opportunities to know about Italien style coffee. He had basic skills and knowledge on how to brew espresso or cappuccino. After he was ill, he couldn't taste wine because of taking medicine, so he dedicated to researching coffee (Single Origin).

There is not much overlap between the coffee and the wine consumer groups. Because of alcohol, most people still drink coffee more than wine in their daily lives. However, there are many commonalities between coffee and wine, such as color, temperature, origin and manufacturing processes. The flavor of the wine is stronger than the coffee, but the brewed coffee is also very delicate and intriguing.

When introducing coffee, W likes to let the guests know in a way that is easy to understand and easy to imagine. For example, some coffee has an orange taste like osmanthus or magnolia, which tastes warm and sweet. Also, not only the flavor but also the aroma; for example, one coffee has the smell of a white flower, while the other coffee has red and purple flower aroma, like the smell of roses or violets. Also, some have aromas of strawberries or nuts, which are similar to wines.

Taipei Taiwan W&M Workshop Coffee Shop Interview - FUJIFilmXT33514 - Yes! Please Enjoy by Fanning Tseng-33.jpg
Taipei Taiwan W&M Workshop Coffee Shop Interview - FUJIFilmXT33514 - Yes! Please Enjoy by Fanning Tseng-32.jpg
Taipei Taiwan W&M Workshop Coffee Shop Interview - FUJIFilmXT33514 - Yes! Please Enjoy by Fanning Tseng-34.jpg
Taipei Taiwan W&M Workshop Coffee Shop Interview - FUJIFilmXT33514 - Yes! Please Enjoy by Fanning Tseng-35.jpg

專業,將風味與口感以視覺化呈現

自我喜好與成為專業之間還是有段距離,W是如何累積技術與知識讓自己更上一層樓呢?除了不斷學習新知外,也以大量的實驗測試來累積正確沖煮咖啡的實力。對W來說,正確沖煮咖啡指的是以最恰當的手法將一支咖啡最原始、純正的風味帶出來。所以特別在研磨粗細度、水的溫度以及濾杯使用上經過多次測試,來累積最好的沖泡數據。

「不可否認,以前侍酒師的工作經驗給了我很大的幫助;我用品酒的方式來品咖啡,讓我更有系統地整理出一套咖啡邏輯,同時更精確地掌握每支單品咖啡的風味與口感。」

在咖啡口味上,W希望傳達給客人的遠比好喝或不好喝再多一些。當然台灣的咖啡文化在新浪潮之後,許多人都懂得品咖啡,不過W透過帶有想像力的介紹來說明更多關於咖啡的風味與故事。

「其實大部分的我們都是喜歡咖啡的,只是沒有機會去瞭解。很多時候喝了一杯咖啡,不過半小時後大概就忘了口感與香味。我希望可以讓每一位客人都對自己喝的咖啡留下好的、深刻的印象。」W接續著跟我介紹不同咖啡之間的微妙差異。「水洗」較為乾淨明亮,喝起來有檸檬紅茶的滋味。而日曬喝起來比較圓潤,有QQ圓圓的口感,帶有發酵、類似酒香的芬芳,有點像是吃酒釀湯圓、或是葡萄酒軟木塞上的那種氣息。聽了他的介紹,再喝下W替我沖泡的咖啡,那透明咖啡色液體果真在舌頭上有種珠玉圓潤的滋味呢,好奇妙、好有趣,讓人對咖啡有種更進一步認識、怦然心動的感覺。

更讓有意思的是,當客人進入W&M Workshop之後,W會先觀察客人的氣質,再以天氣(晴天、陰天或雨天)與時段(上午、下午)來推薦客人品嚐的咖啡。「不同的天氣狀況會影響當下的情緒與口感;如果遇到喜歡品嚐不同咖啡口感的客人,那麼我就會針對不同的單品做說明、聊聊天。如果是喜歡安靜的客人那也很好,沖煮完咖啡之後,我就可以繼續做手邊的事。我很珍惜每一次進門的客人,對我來說都具有特別的意義,所以也很享受每一種不同的互動的默契。」

當初小曼把W&M Workshop的臉書頁面傳給我之後,最吸引我的便是W在即時分享上那富有詩意的隨筆。有時候紀錄當天的氣候、有時候抒發不指名道姓的個人觀察、或者分享書上讀到的佳句。似乎在面對咖啡時,W成為了一位哲學家,又或像是李白、杜甫在河邊吟詩作對的景況。

Professional is to visualize the flavor and taste

There is still a distance between a hobby and becoming a professional. How does W accumulate skills and knowledge to take it to the next level? In addition to continually learning new knowledge, he also collects a large number of experiments and tests to gather the strength of brewing coffee. For W, the correct way to brew coffee refers to use the most appropriate system to bring out the most original and pure flavor of coffee. Therefore, he has repeatedly tested the thickness of the grinding, the temperature of the water and the choices of the filter to accumulate the best brewing data.

"It is undeniable that the experience as a sommelier gave me a lot of help. I use the way of tasting wine to taste coffee so that I can build my coffee philosophy systematically. At the same time, I certainly understand the flavor and taste of each coffee."

In terms of coffee taste, W hopes to convey to the guests not only about good or not good. Of course, after the new wave of coffee culture in Taiwan, many people know how to taste coffee, but W uses an imaginative introduction to explain more about the flavor and the story of coffee.

"Most of us like coffee, but we don't have the opportunity to understand. Many times we have a cup of coffee, but after half an hour we probably forget the taste and fragrance of it. I hope to give every guest an impressive memory about their cup of coffee." W then introduced me to the subtle differences between different coffees.

The Washed Process makes coffee lighter and brighter, and it tastes like lemon black tea. The Natural Process has a smooth taste. The Unwashed Process has a fermented, wine-like fragrance. After listening to his introduction, and then drinking his brewed coffee, the transparent brown liquid had a kind of mellow taste. It was unique and interesting. It made me have a little better understanding of coffee.

What's even more interesting is that when guests enter the W&M Workshop, W will first observe the character of the guests, and then recommend the coffee for the guests according to the weather (sunny, cloudy or rainy days) and time (noon or afternoon). "Different weather conditions will affect the mood and taste. If a guest who likes to savor different coffees, then I will explain different items and also chat with him/her. If a guest likes quiet, then after brewing the coffee, I continue to do what I have at hand. I cherish every guest who enters the door; each is special. I enjoy every kind of different interaction with them."

When Xiaoman Chen (Slow Chen) passed the Facebook page of W&M Workshop to me, what attracted me most was the poetic essays of W. Sometimes he records the weather of the day, sometimes he writes about his personal observations or shares his favorite sentences from books. It seems that W is a philosopher, or like Li Bai and Du Fu recited poems on the riverside.

Taipei Taiwan W&M Workshop Coffee Shop Interview - FUJIFilmXT33514 - Yes! Please Enjoy by Fanning Tseng-40.jpg
Taipei Taiwan W&M Workshop Coffee Shop Interview - FUJIFilmXT33514 - Yes! Please Enjoy by Fanning Tseng-41.jpg

不同的咖啡文化與風情

台灣的咖啡文化發展得很快速,也豐富多元;市場上則延伸出許多不同類型的咖啡館。「不管是哪種咖啡文化,我都尊重;對我來說,只決定自己的咖啡館是哪種風格就可以了。每回來的客人都不同,不過彼此尊重不同的立場是基本原則。」W表示。

W&M Workshop不顧成本上的考量,每天提供不同的基本款蛋糕招待點用咖啡的客人。蛋糕,就是弟弟M每天親手製作的。「在哥哥生病之後我辭職,從那時候就開始烤蛋糕。雖然我們都不是嗜甜的人,不過烘焙的過程是種享受,讓我很開心。」坐在角落的弟弟在我們提及蛋糕時,臉上的神情明亮;我可以想見他攪拌著奶油與麵粉的模樣。

不過這樣在成本上沒有問題嗎?

「只要可以維持基本的開銷與生意就好。我們開心、客人也會感受得到;從小的地方就可以影響其他人,造成良性循環,帶動更好的生活品質與氛圍。」是吧,我說過了,W是位哲學家咖啡師呢。

Different coffee styles and cultures

The coffee culture in Taiwan has developed rapidly and is diversified; there are many different types of cafes in the market. "I respect all kinds of coffee culture; for me, it's more important to decide what style of my coffee shop is. Every guest is different, but respecting each other is the basic principle." W said.

Regardless of cost considerations, W&M Workshop offers basic butter cakes to entertain guests with each coffee order. M bakes cakes every day. "I resigned after my brother was ill. Since then, I have been baking cakes. Although we do not eat sweets so often, the process of baking is a kind of enjoyment, which makes me glad." When we mentioned the cake, M looked happy; I could imagine him stirring the butter and flour.

But is there no problem with the cost?

"As long as we can maintain basic expenses and business, we are happy, and our guests will feel it. We can influence other people from small parts, creating a good atmosphere and promoting a better quality of life." Yes, I said W is a philosopher barista.

Taipei Taiwan W&M Workshop Coffee Shop Interview - FUJIFilmXT33514 - Yes! Please Enjoy by Fanning Tseng-46.jpg
Taipei Taiwan W&M Workshop Coffee Shop Interview - FUJIFilmXT33514 - Yes! Please Enjoy by Fanning Tseng-48.jpg

獨樂不如眾樂

W&M Workshop沒有每天營業,空檔則是開放給大眾預約上課的時段。W把過去這些年對咖啡所累積的知識濃縮成精華,以四到五小時的時間來授課。「上課的基本內容是很充實的,不過也會因材施教。都會有咖啡師來上課,那我就會講解得更多更深入;因為他們都是一顆顆種子,等他們出去面對客人時才能把更好的能量傳遞出去。」不藏私是W授課的主要理念,也希望以透明化的教學內容打破一般大眾對咖啡的刻板印象,分享給有興趣的人。

「生病之後改變了生活中很多既有的計畫與原則,不過也讓我從不同角度看待事物,腦袋也不像以前那麼死板。」在我眼前的W是個慢速行動的人,不過從對話中可以感受到他內心裡住著一個淘氣的男孩,同時也對生命有著澎湃的熱情。拘謹、多方考量、再三斟酌的性格讓他沈心進入層次豐富的咖啡世界中;而樂觀不拘泥於死結上的態度讓他將在咖啡世界中所探得的芬芳帶出來分享給我們。

It’s better to share

W&M Workshop is not open every day, and the no-business days are open to the public for coffee workshops. W organizes the accumulated knowledge of coffee over the past few years into a four to five hours essential workshop. "The basic content of the course is very substantial, but it will also be taught by each aptitude. If there will be a barista to join the workshop, then I will explain more and deeper. They are seeds; when they go out and face their guests, they can pass out better energy." Sharing his knowledge is his main idea of teaching. W hopes to share the spirit with people who are interested in coffee.

"After ill, I changed many existing plans and principles in my life, but it also made me look at things from different points. My attitude is not as rigid as before." W acts slowly, but from our conversation, I can feel a naughty boy living in his body; moreover, he has a passion for life. He is cautious, thoughtful, which personality help him to research the coffee world deeply. Moreover, his optimistic and unconstrained attitude allow him to share the fragrance he had discovered in the coffee experience.

Taipei Taiwan W&M Workshop Coffee Shop Interview - FUJIFilmXT33514 - Yes! Please Enjoy by Fanning Tseng-16.jpg
Taipei Taiwan W&M Workshop Coffee Shop Interview - FUJIFilmXT33514 - Yes! Please Enjoy by Fanning Tseng-31.jpg

W&M Workshop

台北市林森北路487號1樓225室

採訪的我、與讀著文章的你,或許無法單就文字而體會因病痛而讓生命受到威脅的感受,不過W的經歷、心境上的轉變,與工作態度可以提醒我們:生命最可貴的在於我們雖然無法掌握它的長度,但是對於深度與廣度都是可以依我們的意願而發展的。

採訪後,W遞給我一包咖啡包,「很簡單的,就像茶包一樣,沖水就可以喝了。」他溫溫地對我說。那天晚上我迫不及待熱了水給自己泡一杯咖啡。他說的那些溫溫潤潤像圓珠子一般滑嫩的口感在我口中擴散開來,捨不得吞嚥,卻又期待著入喉之後回甘的口感。以前女兒曾經說過,一個人最好的狀態應該像一杯好茶,不管冷的熱的喝都讓人喜愛。而現在我體會了,生命也可以像是杯好咖啡,用最簡單的方式沖煮出最原始的風味就是最好的了。

那天對話時,我與W也聊到了音樂;突發奇想,請他為這段採訪製作一張歌單,可以是他心情的寫照、平時工作聽的樂曲。希望你可以透過這些旋律,即使手上沒有咖啡也可以聞到咖啡香。

We may not be able to experience the feeling of being threatened because of an illness. However, W's experience, improvement, and attitude can remind us that the most valuable thing about life is that although we can't grasp its length, we can develop its depth and breadth.

After the interview, W handed me a bag of coffee. "It's simple. Just like a tea bag, it is the easiest way to enjoy a cup of coffee." He said to me kindly. I couldn't wait to get a cup of coffee for myself that night. The warm and rounded taste of the coffee was exactly as how he had described. The taste spread out in my mouth. After swallowing, a sweet flavor returning to the throat. My daughter used to say that the best state of a person should be like a cup of good tea, no matter whenever drink it as cold or as hot. Now I realize that life can be like a cup of good coffee as well.

I also talked to W about music during our interview. I had whimsy and asked him to edit a playlist on Spotify for this interview. It could be a portrayal of his mood or a piece of music that he usually listens while working in the coffee shop. I hope that you can smell a scent of coffee while listening to the music even if you don't have coffee on your hands.

 

All images are taken with FujiFilm X-T3, XF35mmF1.4R; it is a cooperation with FujiFilm Taiwan.