Coffee: the quintessential Melbourne experience

This past week I was asked to make a personal piece about my passion in coffee, so here it is! ;)

via Meld Magazine, International Student Online Magazine!
Thanks a lot to Karen Poh who edited it ;)

Coffee: the quintessential Melbourne experience

Photo: Celine Tan

Marcella Purnama’s first taste of coffee divine was at Seven Seeds in Carlton. Photo: Celine Tan

SITTING here in a well-known five-bean-rated cafe sipping my cup of coffee, I begin to wonder about how I came to fall in love with this divine culinary art form. Was it the aroma? Was it the caffeine? Was it the silky milk froth that you can never make at home?

Fascinated, I put down my cup and started thinking, but nothing came. I looked around, getting lost in the busy afternoon of people ordering their brunch and laughing to each other with their cups of coffee in hand. After a long pause, suddenly, I smiled, I knew exactly why I loved coffee.

Do you still remember your first cup? Mine was back in Indonesia when I was still in high school. My older sister and I went to Starbucks and she ordered a mocha. She insisted I should take a sip and I did. I didn’t like it. It tasted weird and I gave the takeaway cup right back to her.

Bittersweet experiences. Marcella reminiscing on old times and her  introduction to coffee. Photo: Celine Tan

Bittersweet experiences. Marcella reminiscing on old times and her introduction to coffee.

Photo: Celine Tan

My second exposure to coffee was here in Melbourne. As a first year university student, I was told coffee would become your best friend in times of chaos. Inspired, I went, again with my older sister, to Gloria Jeans and both of us ordered a mocha. But this time, I saw coffee in a different light. It became much more than a drink. It became an elixir rich in flavours. Bitter, kind of sweet, acidic.

Before I knew it, I started visiting cafes around town hoping to find the best shot to satisfy my passion.

For me, coffee became an expression of art translated into a cup. Now I can’t get enough of that smell of roasted coffee beans when I first enter a cafe. That rich, flavourful and pleasant aroma. I love the perfect rosetta formed using the silky froth that sits atop an untouched latte – it’s beautiful. I love the nutty, aromatic smell just before I take my first sip. And I love the warm, lovely sensation that stays on my tongue for a few seconds afterwards.

Inside Seven Seeds in Carlton. The destination is part of the  charm in Melbourne's vibrant cafe culture. Photo: Celine Tan

Inside Seven Seeds in Carlton. The destination is part of the charm in Melbourne’s vibrant cafe culture. Photo: Celine Tan

Communal tables in the warehouse cafe/roastery at Seven Seeds  where you can share life over a cup of coffee. Photo: Celine Tan

Communal tables in the warehouse cafe/roastery at Seven Seeds where you can share life over a cup of coffee. Photo: Celine Tan

But to be honest, I’m not just infatuated with the coffee itself. I have always loved the atmosphere of a cafe as well. It’s a place to chill and catch-up with your friends. A spot for a romantic evening with your partner. Or just a chance for you to relax, escape from your problems for a while and get lost in a totally different world.

People who love to drink wine will know that balance is the Holy Grail. Like wine, the bitterness and acidity of coffee needs to be in perfect balance for it to be a good cup. But let me tell you this, no one can force you to like a certain type of coffee. Soy latte, decaf mocha, strong cappuccino, espresso or weak flat white – it’s all your choice.

(….) read the full article in =D


The type of guy we’re looking for

Just another random thought at night, and I just feel like posting this.

Sipping my cup of tea, supposedly doing my assignments but slacking as usual, I begin to read this writing again about what kind of guy that we girls are looking for. Suddenly I remember my pastor’s wife saying, “Where are the spiritual men leaders in church?”

Taken from Jaeson Ma’s blog, it’s really true! =D happy reading all ;)

ps. I can’t find an article on how women should love and respect men, maybe should write about that someday ;p




I spent the day with a group of men in our house church learning what it takes to be a man of God when it comes to loving and respecting women. In our day an age most men are not men, they are boys. Most guys still want to marry their mom, have a women serve and take care of them, are not willing to take initiative or commit in a relationship, most men are still living in fear, not pursuing their callings by settling for “safe” because its easy. This is sad, upsetting and the standard must change.

Women don’t want to marry boys, they want to marry men. Women don’t want boys they have to put up with, clean up after and take care of, they want to be lead, pursued and taken on an exciting life adventure. If you go to most of the churches in the Western world today, you will find that there are very few spiritual men, instead there are many spiritual women. It’s disappointing, but I hear it from women of faith all the time, “Pastor Jaeson, where are the godly men?”

Today, a good brother and leader in our GBS community Daniel Ra explained what God showed him to be the “5 Pillars of Manhood” in how men must love, respect and serve women. It was enlightening and reinforcing from what I have been teaching men for years when it comes to pursuing a woman of God… of course none of us are perfect, we all have our mistakes, but we must each strive to be better and greater than what we were before yesterday, everyday making an effort to be more like God, to be just like Jesus, to be a man of faith and honor.

The 5 Pillars of Manhood…

1. Lead – A man must be a leader in a relationship, in a marriage, in a family. There are no excuses. A woman doesn’t want to make the decisions for her man, she wants her man to lead in the relationship. A man must take initiative. A man of God is leader, not a follower, a servant, not a slave, a hero not a coward. A man of God knows God and therefore knows himself. He should be the leader spiritually first, emotionally, mentally and physically he should set the standard for others to follow.

2. Protect – A real man of God will protect his partner. That means he is willing to lay down his very own life, needs and wants for the protection of the one he loves. Every decision he makes when it comes to a relationship has her protection in mind. A woman needs to feel secure, that she is protected and safe with her man. She doesn’t need to second guess, wonder if she will be okay, or have her heart and mind played with. A real man of God will not only protect his woman physically, but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually. He always has the highest good in his mind for her safety, well being and wholeness. This is for the Christian guys out there, don’t emotionally rape a sister, play with her heart and tell her you are just her brother or friend. That is BS. Man up. You either pursue a woman of God because she is God’s precious creation, or you don’t try touching it at all, or play with their hearts emotionally, unless you are willing to be up front and clear with your intentions and the direction of the relationship from the start. Emotional rape is as painful to a woman as physical rape. Women are emotional beings and their hearts are not to be played with. Protect your sisters heart.

3. Provide – A real man of God will do whatever it takes to provide for his significant other. That means monetarily in finances, in basic needs and as well as what she desires. When a man asks a father for his daughter in marriage, the father will not ask, “How are you doing spiritually first?” No, the first thing the father will ask is, “How will you provide for my daughter?” Because part of being and becoming a man is providing for others, especially your wife and children. If a man can’t provide, he isn’t a man. God gave us hands and we must put our hands to work, no excuses to be lazy, God made us to rule the earth. Women are not be treated as toys, trophies or a luxury item, women are God’s highest creation, the very image of God.

I tell men all the time, “Treat your woman like a queen and you will live like a king.” Don’t be cheap brothers, you need to go all out when it comes to pursuing a woman. This is not a one time thing, but a continual practice. Women were created for beauty. They were created beautiful, to feel beautiful to be treated beautiful. You don’t handle a rose without care, it is the same with a woman of God, you treat her with the utmost care, honor and respect. Practically, that means you don’t take a woman to Denny’s on a first date, you take her to a place that hurts your wallet, but it’s worth it because she is worthy.

Also, men must also provide for women emotionally. When a women asks you, “How are you doing?” She is really asking, “How are you being?” Meaning, what are you feeling, thinking, seeing, being about at the moment. To love a women we must provide at every level – basic needs all the way to providing for them mentally, emotionally and spiritually, if not their hearts will die. Be a man, provide for your women.

4. Integrity – A true man of God is a man of his word. Too many men in our culture break promises, play with women’s hearts, date girls as if it was a game, and have no respect for women at all. This is disgusting. In old times, when a man said “You have my word!” that word was bond, it was as if an actual contract had been written, because your word was your reputation. How many men do we know today who say one thing, but do another? Men who do not keep their word, their promise or follow through with their verbal commitments. In our culture we don’t take words seriously, but in God’s world words are everything. Blessings and curses come out of the same mouth. What comes out of our mouths determines what is truly in our hearts.

What a woman wants is a man of integrity. Someone who says what he does and does what he says. Someone they can trust at their word. So as a man you must come through. Words means nothing if they are not backed up with action. Don’t say sorry unless you mean it. Don’t say sorry unless you are able to back up your apologies with doing the right thing. Integrity is doing what is right, whether people are watching or not. Integrity is what you do when no one is looking. Does your woman trust you completely? If not, it is a question of integrity. Don’t tell a women you love her unless your love shows, words carry weight. They either carry false weight or real weight, a woman knows when a man means what he says.

So live by your words, live by action, be a living proof of your values, convictions and commitments. Don’t get involved in a relationship unless you are sure this what you want and what God is leading you both to do. I’ve had my share of mistakes in the past, where I got into a relationship without thinking about the consequences, protecting my sisters heart and the fear of the Lord from the get go, I’ve had to make amends and face the results of my sin and foolishness. Trust me brothers, don’t do what I’ve done in the past, don’t play games, don’t feed your fleshly desires, rather seek God, seek the best interest of the one you are pursuing, be honest, forthright from the start about your commitment and your vision for the relationship and stick to your word. Be a man of integrity.

If you pursue a women, it should be with the intentions of marriage. If not, stop playing yourself and her. It’s not about finding the right woman, it’s about being the right man. That starts with first knowing God in order to know yourself, then you will know how to love and respect a woman.

5) Courage – You are not a man until you climb the great wall of China! This is what it says at the actual great wall. Well, I have climbed the Great Wall of China so I guess I must be more of a man than others, just kidding. What is the greater underlying message here? It is a message of courage. It is a message of adventure. A man of God is a man of courage, a man of adventure, a man who is willing to take risks and do the impossible. Men were born to live a life of great adventure. Men were created to fight battles. Men were created to rescue beauties. Men were created to live.

Sadly, most men are not living. Most men are cowards, fearful and afraid of failure. Imprisoned by their own thinking and what others think about them. Many men are just boys waiting for their mother’s approval, or the approval of others in society. Most men I know are people pleasers, not God pleasers. They are more afraid of how others may reject them or not accept them if they choose to take the road less traveled.

All men die, few men truly live.

Women don’t want nice guys or good boys, women want men on a mission, men on adventure, men who are dangerous. This is why many women are drawn to bad boys because bad boys live with a sense of risk, danger, mystery and unknown. Men were created to live fearless and to live by faith. But if you walk into a church today what you find are a bunch of boys playing with their toys, working at predictable jobs — not their true callings, and living boring lives. It’s sad, but most guys get their sense of adventure from playing video games or watching TV, what happened to our men?

A man of faith will sweep a woman of God off of her feet. He will challenge her to go the distance in God, in their relationship and in life. A man of courage is someone who in the face of fear still chooses to move forward with trust in God, setting out to obey God’s voice at whatever the cost, because that is what matters the most. We need men who have hearts fully alive, hearts full of passion and are on a mission to change the world. There is a high cost to being a man of courage, there is a price to pay if we want to be a real hero, it means we are willing to go against the grain, follow God against all odds and live a life of honor, courage and righteousness.

When a woman finds a man of courage, it will encourage her to be all that God has created her to be. As a man, your goal is not how your woman can serve you, but how can you serve your woman? As a man, your goal is not how a woman can serve your destiny, but how can you do all that you possibly can to release the fullness of God’s glory and destiny in her.

Men take the lead, protect at all costs, provide in every way, live by your word and live a life of adventure with the Holy Spirit — obey God, not man and you will be the man of God you were created to be — and your woman will love you for it.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

weird monday, frantic wednesday.

So what’s happening in my life lately? There are lots and lots to write about, but these ones (the things that I’m about to write) are just… bizarre. well, not really. hahah. I’m just exaggerating. *blame the caffeine.

*warning: broken english, wrong grammars, etc are used.

Anyways, this Monday, I went to uni as usual, feeling stressed because assignments are due soon… but… it’s oke lar, I still got a couple of days to finish them off. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish them SOON. after having lunch, I went to Redmond Barry Building for my psych tute and guess what? the fire alarm is ringing. I thought, “oh great, it’s just a hoax lah, it’ll stop soon.” After waiting for 15 minutes, at last the alarm stopped. But then, guess what? the power was down…

after consulting with our tutor (who is as confused as we are), we decided to cancel the tute as there was nothing that can be done (that day’s tute was about a software in the lab comp), and I went home. andddd….. I vacuumed the house, I washed dishes, did some cleaning, and rushed back to uni because I still have a lecture in the evening. Pretty weird? YES. I have no idea what I went home. I just felt like it.

After finishing my last lecture, I went to the city, sat in borders, and start browsing for books. then… I went home and cooked.

That was my weird monday, but today was even more…. weirder.

Yesterday I opened my uni email and I found out that there was a replacement tute (the one that I missed) at 12 that day (WHICH I HAVE MISSED). I was wondering to myself why i didnt open my email, and I was wondering even more why it is so short-noticed. (it’s not even 24-hrs!). Anyways, that means i need to go to another tute. So i opened the university timetable, and search for tute that can accommodate more students (psych tutorials are so famous and often overfull). I decided to go to 9am tute this morning, although today is my day off. *sigh.

Woke up late, I rushed to uni without breakfast (uh-oh, big mistake), and after 30 minutes sitting down the tute, the tutor said that I cannot be there for the rest of the tute!!! Okay, so why, I asked. She said that the 9am class is already full and it’s the policy that students from another tute can’t go to this tute (and I still see several empty seats lingering there!). After talking for 5 minutes to the tutor, telling excuses and asking for exceptions, okelah, I’m tired. She said that there’ll be another tute at 11, and I can go to that one. Fine, I’ll go and return later.

I walked down towards the 5th floor where the lab comp is (my tute is at 11th floor) and yes, I almost cried actually (which is pretty stupid). But I was just angry and quite mad…and obviously sad, I think it’s because the tutor didnt show any empathy while she said “it’s the policy”. well, it’s not my fault that my tute got canceled on monday…. but oh well, nevermind, I just do my assignments while waiting for the tute. Maybe I can do something useful.

So I went back at 11 to the same class, same tutor, and she said that…… sorry. I mixed up the tutes. It’s supposed to be the 9am class that accepts students, and this one (11am one) is the one that’s full. i’m really sorry.

…yeaaaaaaahhhhhh……… Well, at one point I can see that she was feeling really, really guilty for making me (and several other students) leave when we were in the 9am class, but yeahhhhhh…… *SIGH! hahahah. so not mature of me, *sigh.

So we sat down through the whole tutorial and and after the tute ended, my friend just stormed out the tute class. when we met outside, we were like. OH COME ONNNNNNN…… or something like that. and we told our stories lah (which were basically the same thing) about the tutorial. Because of attending the 11am tute, she needs to skip one of her lecture that requires attendance (btw, this tute is very important for our assignment because the result of an experiment was distributed and we need it for our lab report). so yeah, anger exploded.

After talking about it in the tram, we finally agreed to “let it go” and “forget about it” because it’s been done anyway, and we cant do anything about it. Why am i writing this story? because I’m trying to forgive the tutor. it’s a little thing, really, not a big thing or blah, but i guess im just immature and a part of me demands ‘justice’, or whatever you want to call it.

PHEWWWW, writing it feels good =D lol. so I just want to say that, Wed 9am/11am psych tutor, whom name I do not know, I forgive you. im sorry for condemning you and telling the story to another 2 people (and all people who read this blog), but please shows some empathy when you say that it’s the policy. I know you cant do anything about the policy, but at least please try to understand our feelings that we may have something else more useful to do (doing our assignments, sleep longer, or even have breakfast!)… I know u did it unintentionally.

so yeah, for the rest of the day, I had fun =D. went for lunch, coffee, doing some work, and of course – shopping. ;p. after i went home, I was doing some work for my lab report, and I remembered it once again (which I have decided to forget and forgive). So maybe it’s best to do it this way so that I may get over it completely. and yes, i think it works! =D

oh yeah hav i told u guys that I cut my hair..... very, very short! LOL is it seeable??? =p

and by the way, ive got another assignment, which is blogging. hahah. so feel free to see and read what’s inside my subject: LOL.

travel writing 101

A travel journalist? Why not.

Meld Magazine, an online magazine for international students, held a journalism workshop for its editors last Saturday. I’m really grateful to be a part of the team and be able to learn more about writing! Why? It’s just so amazing!

Anyways, the three sessions held were about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Blogging, and Travel Writing. And the third session just captured my soul.

Meld Magazine team!

I have always loved the idea of traveling. If the earth offers you so much more: the riches and beauty of the world, the diversity of the cultures, the crazy stuffs that you are able to do; why don’t try to see the most of it? I think travel gives the idea of freedom, of ‘really’ living your life, to take a break from your frustrating mundane, and to learn something new. Travel enables you to enjoy live, to love life, and to live life. For me, travel is in our blood.

Shawn Low, the Lonely Planet’s Travel Editor, spoke with passion and such fire about travel writing. He told us about his experience in traveling, his journey about getting the job in the Lonely Planet, his ideals about writing and secrets on how to write a good piece of travel writing. He even showed us the video of his experience traveling to China (Lonely Planet, roads less traveled edition). It was bizarre (in an extremely positive way)!

So why travel?

My top ten reasons on why we should travel:

  1. We got to go to places! come on, who doesn’t like to see the world? seeing those blue oceans and green wineries, being in exotic places or even experiencing a life as the wilderness explorer’! (*pop quiz: which movie got that term?)
  2. we got to know strange stuffs. each heritage, each culture, each history has got its own signature. do you ever wonder how the people created the sphinx? or the what kind of life did Tutankhamun live? (the exhibition is on the way to Melbourne Museum by the way, so sad it’s so expensive) What language did ancient people speak, or how does the food in those Spain restaurants (heard Spain got the best restaurants ever!) taste like? Even Heston, the guy who’s cooking crazy stuffs in Heston’s Feast, does LOTS of traveling to search for inspiration!
  3. loving life. It’s a simple reason, but I think by traveling we will know more about this life, about the good or the bad, and how different we are from the rest of the world. It will make us appreciate life more, and love life even more.
  4. knowing ourselves. some people travel to find more about themselves. For example in the book Eat Pray Love. do you know that yourself is the most complicated being on earth? lol
  5. being aware of our surroundings. Most of the time we think that our views are always the common ones, or that people will at least have SIMILAR views about everything. Nope. Diversity is what the world is.
  6. be a blessing. by traveling, we can also be a blessing not only in our community, but also be a blessing towards other people. towards strangers. towards those who who are unreachable. I’m not only talking about Christianity, but anything in general.
  7. be an actor or actresses. to lose ourselves and be someone else once in a while. to act silly, to try stupid stuffs, to be a tourist. to open a big map with small letters in a totally different language than your mother tongue and to decipher the code to your treasure!
  8. to kiss the heaven. to be immersed in the beauty of the world. to cry, to laugh, to smile, to dance, to walk, to run, to chase that rainbow’s end in this imperfect world. to believe in dreams, magic, hope, and to have faith. to be reminded that life is short – and enjoyable.
  9. to stop the time and be youthful in heart, spirit, and soul. for me, it’s to stop the technology. to be away from facebook, emails, the news, everything. to reflect.
  10. to travel. to journey. to be yourself. to enjoy life. to make most out of life. to pursue your passion. to dream. to dare to dream. to hope. to wish. to have faith. to love. to fall in love with love.

I was really inspired, but at the same time –  afraid. Afraid that I will not be able to meet such standard in writing. Afraid of all the responsibility, the pressure and the hard paths that I need to walk in order to reach my goal. Afraid of choosing my own passion. I doubt that I’m actually good enough to pursue a career as a writer. But oh well, who knows? =) Now, it’s ACTION time!

strawberries! @ strawberry farm, mornington!

guess where this is? lol brighton beach!

universal studio singapore, great castle!

universal studio singapore, and....action!

sitting on top of the highest rock at Hanging Rock! =D

I will close this blog with a quote from Pico Iyer, a travel journalist as well. Shawn Low shared this and I’ve fallen in love with it ever since (2 days ago! hahah).

“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves.

We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate.

We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed.

And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.

– Pico Iyer

revelation, hmm!

So here is what I discover last Friday: I think I’m a drinker! Well, not in a sense that I like to drink alcohol and blah, but anything in general. My lovely day will include a hot cup of Milo (milk) for breakfast, a cup of coffee at brunch, water for lunch, juice in the evening, and a hot cup of tea at night, after dinner (and occasionally alcohol, of course). Even hot water is really, really, NICE! =D. Not enough to prove that I’ve got a passion in drinks? That’s alright, I still think it’s a revelation =D.

So what I’m planning to do is to master each genre of drinks. lol. But. it. takes. lots. and. lots. of. money. =D. it’s my main dilemma. Do you know that a good coffee machine + grinder will cost about $2000? Gosh, where will I get that lol. need a lot of savings. hahah.

Anyway, I’ve decided to take 3 different genres in drinks: coffees, cocktail, and juice.

coffee = art!

I LOOOOVEEEEE coffees. Well, not that much but still, I think coffee is a good way to have quality time with someone and just enjoy your morning, relaxing before the rush starts. A great coffee will put a smile on your face, first by looking at the texture (coffee art), and then by taking that first sip which stays in your tongue, and later on by the warmth that the coffee gives to your body. It’s just a delicate kind of drink that enables you to love your harsh morning, especially when you are unenergised. I think, coffee is an art =)

one of my favourite wine: T'gallant Moscato =D

Cocktail. Hmmmm, I love wine =D (planning to do the course later on heheh), and I’m highly interested in cocktails, although I never actually taste many of it. I know I’ve tried capriosca (a blend of vodka, lime juice, err.. can’t remember.. please correct me if I’m wrong lol) once, but I can’t remember tasting other cocktails. I remember one day, when I went to Cumulus Inc. restaurant. The bartender there was just soooo coooollll! He can play with different alcohols and mixing them up in such a way that they look really astonishing…. I like. =D

Juice! I think it’s the healthiest drink among three, but too bad, I DON’T have a blender. I’m thinking of buying one, but it’s expensive as well. I might bring one from Indo (hahah), but still not quite sure yet. I’ve bought a smoothies and juice book and it’s just sitting there on the shelf without being opened! I was so eager to make a banana milkshake before. Oh welllll…..

So yeah, I think I like drinks. But not milk tea lol. I think tea and milk is a mistake (sorry, milk tea lovers!) but that’s the only (maybe) type of drink that I do not like. It’s sweet in some sense but also sour, and is kinda strange I guess…? lol I don’t know. I’m still curious why people in Laurent really like their English Breakfast Tea with a jug of milk. I’ve tried it once in Mt. Dandenong’s Miss Marple, and it was a weird taste… Oh well, my sister loves milk tea though, so I can’t say much about it lol.

So if any of you thinking of giving me a gift (I wish!!!!), would you pleeaaaseeeeee give me a Home Barista Institute’s voucher to attend the Professional Barista Course, a decent coffee machine + grinder, maybe a blender/juicer, Cocktail course’s voucher, or perhaps AUD$10,000? lol. Jk. Oh well, I’ve got a caffeine rush today. Sooo hyper (90% is my sister’s fault: 50% is because of asking me to go try a new cafe, 40% is due our quality time talking about these stuffs. LOL).

sooooooo, hydrate more, people! =D