Felix 和 Won 的咖啡店開在多倫多 Mid-town Yonge Street 上，去年 4 月開始經營，不夠半年已被本地網上媒體BlogTO選為最佳 Coffee Roaster 之一，亦排名多倫多東區最佳咖啡店第4位。咖啡店以葡萄牙軍官 de Mello Phalhet 命名，傳說 Franciscode Mello Phalhet 是將咖啡豆從歐洲帶進美洲的第一人。小店以打開的黑色雨傘為設計主題，樓高的咖啡豆焙烘機，每星期運作14小時，自家焙烘特別的咖啡混合配方(Blend)，也為其他獨立咖啡店如 Voodo Child 等專門焙烘咖啡豆。
Felix 先後在Coffee HQ 和位於南墨爾本的 St ALi Coffee Roaster 當咖啡調配師。提起墨爾本的咖啡文化，Felix 目光炯炯有神、幾近引以為榮地說，「整個墨爾本只容得下兩間 Starbuck。」他解釋，「墨爾本是『已發展』的咖啡城市，咖啡館不用設黑板或菜單，人們踏進咖啡館一刻，已知道自己要甚麼。」每間咖啡館風格和文化殊別，各具咖啡專長，除咖啡外，幾乎每間咖啡店也有特色早午餐 (Brunch)的選擇或甜品；而且有Specialty Coffee Association of Australia，咖啡店之間很團結，老闆和咖啡調配師既專業也熱愛咖啡，有名的咖啡調配師會在不同的咖啡店「巡迴」工作。Felix 說：「We share barista around Melbourne cafés！墨爾本的咖啡調配師時薪為 33 澳元或以上，算是全球最高了。」
學生時代對咖啡一點興趣也沒有，在連鎖店 Coffee HQ 當店員，原為討份兼職。馬虎態度引來當時的高級咖啡師極不友善對待，直接說 "I really hate you!" 咖啡師 Toni 是個敬業愛咖啡之人，Felix為了討好店長，唯有認真工作。誰料認真得動了真感情，發現咖啡世界學海無涯，開始了便無法回頭。
「當時打工的，是間位於車站內的咖啡連鎖店，客人流量高要求也高，平均 3 小時要做 500 杯咖啡。」學會了用最短時間做高質素的咖啡，更重要是遇上了師傅，在他身上，看見甚麼叫熱情。「It takes 2 minutes to learn how to make filter coffee, but it takes much longer time to make a good cup. 證書、認可甚麼的，意義不大。」此後5年， 一邊完成教育專業學位，一邊在頗有名氣的獨立咖啡店St Ali當Barista，朝6晚11。卻沒有想到，會成為咖啡店老闆，「我一心打算畢業後，回去南韓教中學呢」，Felix 認真地說。
其時哥哥 Won 已移居多倫多快 2 年。Won 大學畢業後原為與父母團聚，搬到多倫多生活，在一家本地大型專業咖啡連鎖店當店員。在咖啡店兼職的人很多，刻板、流水作業、人工低……然而 Won 看到的，卻是多倫多尚待發展的咖啡空間，還未開始。「墨爾本人對專業咖啡的質素、咖啡店的文化非常講究，找到一家口味對的、合心意的小店，動輒便坐上半個下午，風雨不改。多倫多人普遍習慣美式蒸餾咖啡，一杯 regular coffee 就這樣 grab and go。」
看見發展空間，Won 辭掉連鎖店的工作，跑到市郊 Etobicoke 一家專業咖啡焙烘公司求職，請求老闆教他咖啡焙烘的技巧。「我不介意最低工資，不介意工作時間長，我想學會咖啡焙烘，將來自己開店。」Won 坦白對老闆說，結果獲老闆信任，在那裡邊做邊學，直到弟弟 Felix 也決定來多倫多。
「是他說服我來開店的，你問他。」Felix 笑着說。Won 希望以自已金融、市場推廣和咖啡豆焙烘的知識，結合 Felix 在墨爾本咖啡店的實戰經驗和咖啡專業知識，將墨爾文的咖啡文化，引入多倫多這文化多元的北美城市。
The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) became a white knight last week as it stepped in promptly after the Buildings Department declared four tenement blocks in Tokwawan are structurally dangerous and that owners of the buildings have to demolish their home within nine months.
The authority announced on 17 December 2013 it would redevelop the four dangerous buildings. The decision saves those affected from paying for the building's demolition and offers the owners cash compensation equivalent to the value of a seven-year-old flat.
We don't have the background of those affected, but given the place where they reside, it is reasonable to believe they are low-income families.
Among the four blocks, one of them has been in public spotlight since July last year. The Buildings Department found dangerous structure in the balconies at number 51, Kai Ming Street.
Government surveyors, therefore, ordered the residents evacuating from the building. Gripped by financial burden and uncertainty the evacuation order brings, those affected turn to the authority for assistance, hoping it would redevelop the dangerous building.
The authority turned down their request to buy their homes. To save themselves from losing all they have, they joined the authority's Demand-led scheme, under which the property owners have to secure 80 per cent of the property rights themselves within a period of time, if they can get it done, the authority will redevelop their building. If they fail to do so, it is not the authority's business.
It is difficult to understand why the authority is considered or perceived as a white knight in this case. "Addressing Hong Kong's acute urban decay problem and improving the living conditions of residents in dilapidated urban areas" tops the authority's commitments and is nailed on its website by itself.
So stepping in a dangerous building, bailing out the poor people is what the authority should do. There is nothing noble here since it is simply doing what it always says it should be doing. Indeed, the authority is inconsistent with what it proclaims by making those poor people to go for the Demand-led scheme in the first place.
It should have taken up the project immediately if it was truly committed to "Addressing Hong Kong's acute urban decay problem and improving the living conditions of residents in dilapidated urban areas."
Or if the authority is truly here to address urban decay and improve the people's living condition, it actually owes this group of poor people and the people of Hong Kong an apology.
It should have soul-searching on why it fails to detect the problem and stepped in early. It is the Building Department's job on inspecting building conditions.
But don't forget, the authority has the database on the conditions of all buildings in Hong Kong. It is because the authority and the Building's Department share and have access to the same set of database.
Our press and public are very generous to the authority. Instead of taking the authority to task, they worry the move would open the floodgate for more owners of dilapidated buildings to ask for redevelopment.
Think about it, if owners of such decay old blocks do not ask the authority to redevelop their building, the authority will have no projects to work on. It can be folded. Or the URA will have to go back to the old way, forced redevelopment in prime areas like Wedding Card Street in Wan Chai, make huge profits, and again made itself enemy of the community.
Our press and public also expressed worries the authority will lose money in this particular project. How could this be possible? Although Tokwawan is not a business, or a fancy district, it is still in the urban area. The land is still metro land. Redeveloping four tenement blocks in the urban area is profit-making guaranteed business. The only uncertainly is how much profit it is going to make.
It is unlikely the project will be as lucrative as the redevelopment of Wan Chai's Lee Tung Street. Now The Avenue, jointly developed by Sino Land, Hopewell and the authority, is selling more than HK$23,000 per sq. ft. The purchasing price the authority paid to former residents of Lee Tung Street was only HK$4,000 per sq.ft.
Our press and our public do not only generous to the authority, they are equally forgiving to its mishaps. The former chairman of the authority, Barry Cheung, who last Christmas used the press to pressure a small businessman to sell his property at Tai Kok Tsui at a price he disputed. Last Christmas, the small businessman was branded as a greedy person who profits on property speculation that his self-interest nearly tarnish the redevelopment dream of all his neighbours.
This Christmas, the authority is described a white knight that put itself in an uncertain financial commitment to redevelop four tenement blocks.
Most of us seems unable to learn from history: the URA will not take up projects that are not profit making.
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