The autumn has come, lead with it the breeze of winter, forced the leaves to give up on its green. The pavement had been buried by yellow, green, and red. The rain has changed its form, no longer a liquid refreshing element, but solid grassy leaves falls upon the change. The weather pushed me to wear more appropriate clothes, as short no longer protect me from what I needed. Only months left before winter comes.
Since iced drinks didn’t really served anymore, I hold a competition for all workers in my coffee shops. It’s like a ritual, once in a year, in whatever season I wish to held this competition. To find the most authentic beverage that only served along to the particular season, absolutely limited. It’s been the five years since I held it, yet to find nothing meaningful. I wonder, if there’s really nothing meaningful and authentic about a drink?
Everyone was super busy with the task I gave them. A month paid leave after the season as the winner prize was brightening their soul. I was happy to see their excitement and nothing would compare a spirit of young people. Some obsessed to make the best chocolate-coffee beverage, the other busy with various kind of coffee, while one or two of them dare themselves to combined coffee with fruits. And what took my interest was the new girl. It was her third months here. She’s foreign student with strong survival skill. I heard nothing from her about ‘working too hard’, ‘gossiping costumer after work’, or ‘skip the shift because of some ridiculous reason like traffic.’. We called her Luna and she likes to smile, like a lot! She always smiles to everyone, to costumer, her co-worker, people on the street, and a cat. She even managed to remember everyone’s name and the moment she met them for the first time, or what happened with them after last meeting and she’d update her encyclopedia of information. She’s like the google of this coffee shops, I wish she’d work here like forever. Pluss, she’s so pretty. Her curly black hair and wide black eyes suited her tanned skin. Everyone would notice that she was spent plethora of her time in a tropical island.
I was full of curiosity of what was Luna prepared. It’s her first time and looks like she’s chill about it. I gave each of them a week to personally came to me and show me their masterpiece. It was day 7 and I was sick of cinnamon, pumpkin, chocolate, and one of them even comes with the idea of orange coffee, yet Luna hasn’t come to me. I blew a heavy breath and stare on a blank scenery outside the coffee shop which dominated by the bright color of the leaves. Then sun hasn’t fully disappeared, produces an orange-red color in the sky, blinding my eyes.
“Can I show you my work once the coffee shop closed today?” a voice woke me up from my day dream. Luna finally comes to me, shook me out of my blank.
“Why not now?” I asked,
“It’s a bit complicated. I didn’t want to bother anyone, please.” I can feel an excitement inside me, it’s finally interesting.
“Ok!” I said,
That evening Luna appears with a bunch of leaves. As I sat with curiosity, I asked her “What’s that leaves for?”
“Decoration!” she chuckled,
“So, I will show you how to make it first then you taste it. I will only answer the questions after you taste it, OK?” I nodded and she begins her magic.
She puts the dried like-a-tea leaves into a beaker glass and poured it with water, then she boiled it. After the water boiled and the color turned like a coffee, she poured it into a coconut shell, one with sugar one without sugar. She grabbed a cinnamon stick and burned it as the end of the process.
“Kopi Kawa, Kawa Coffee.” She presented her drinks.
“It’s not a coffee, it’s tea!” protest me, as I take a sip of one each. Surprisingly, it tastes nothing like a tea and it’s not an actual coffee. There’s a bitter aftertaste in it and stronger when you drink it without sugar. It absolutely nothing to be familiar with, it was a unique as Luna herself.
“What is it? Taste different, I believe it’s not a tea or coffee.” I asked for explanation.
“A Coffee Leaves.” She smiled proudly, as I bank with confusion.
“A Coffee leaves? How did you even come with that idea?” I was speechless,
“It’s not originally mine to be honest. This beverage was come with a very long history.”
“You talk, I listen” I insisted to hear a full story.
“Well, I need to roasted the leaves for 12 hours before served it like what you have seen.” I was lost.
“12 hours? That’s insane!” I exclaimed; it seems pretty simple just a moment ago.
“This coffee was mentioned in a book titled Max Havelaar by Multatuli. Edward Dekker, a Dutch writer slash a coffee-broker. This coffee was originated in Minangkabau an area in Sumatra island. Back to the day when Indonesia was colonialized by Dutch under VOC a Dutch East India Company, the Sumatran wasn’t allowed to consume the coffee they harvested, so they enjoyed the leaves instead. But, there’s also another version said that the Sumatran was consume the coffee leaves before VOC arrived and learned to consume the seed rather than the leaves from the Dutch, yet they still unable to consume it. History, you know, and based on recent research, it’s good for your health.”
“What’s in it that good for your body?” I was excited with an unexpected lesson from her.
“It contains higher antioxidant than tea leaves and coffee traditionally. It also contains of Mangiferin which good for anti-inflammation.” I smiled upon her explanation and asked her,
“Hey Luna, are you ready to make it for whole autumn?”
“No, don’t!” I didn’t expect it.
“So why did you serve it now?” ask me curious,
“Just to show off. Besides, I have enough money! I need no day off or extra money. I just want to work, every single day.”
“Why?” that’s quite unique I said to myself.
“Because I like to listen to their story. And have to roast a coffee leaves for 12 hours every day isn’t an interesting one. Also, beside its interesting history, the taste isn’t better than Robusta. So, just give up Mr. David. It won’t work.”
Well, I was lost and the darkness outside witnessed it. I never know that Luna is a good talker. She’s indeed, authentic.