Before dawn breaks in Singapore,
The hunched, wizened figure,
Worn singlet already drenched in sweat,
Prepares his aromatic infusion.
A heady scent permeates the entire kitchen.
The brew of freshly grinded robusta,
Roasted with generous dollops of butter or margarine,
Drenched in hot water and poured
Through that well used, thin brown cloth sock
Into that bent, rusting pot with elongated spout,
Again and again,
Until the master brewer is satisfied.
The secret ‘kopi’ recipe,
Locked in the recesses of his mind,
is guarded zealously, and passed down
Only to one apprentice at a time (no more).
This perk-me-up never fails.
It is my wondrous drug of choice,
The rush that runs through my veins,
My elixir of life.