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Wednesday 23-Mar-2016
十七世紀的Caramel Macchiato

「一杯Iced Green Tea Latte要Grande攞走唔該。」在香港大街小巷,有咖啡店的地方就有人龍。無論你是IFC張智霖還是未入世的大學生,左手一杯Caramel Macchiato,右手一部最新型號太空灰色MacBook,成為了香港人生活態度的指標。



回想起在英國生活時,咖啡也有一定的「社會地位」。與下午茶和奶茶不同,英國咖啡不是中午歇一歇的小茶點,而是更高層次的精神生活。



有那麼誇張?我們從歷史去看。相傳英國是全世界最早進口咖啡的國家之一,根據歷史記載,咖啡首於1637年由John Evelyn從土耳其帶進英國。



1650年,英國第一間咖啡館在牛津區設立,名為《Angel》,供客人稍事休息,並將有提神功效的咖啡如天使一樣帶給經常訟習達旦的大學生和教授,旋即將咖啡和咖啡館風潮席捲全英國。



咖啡館背負著濃厚的文化和學術背景出現,隨之而發展成知識分子的交流地。坐進咖啡館,花上一毛錢就能和朋友喝一杯,談談天說說地作文藝交流,使咖啡的苦澀成為了英國獨特的書卷味,還送了咖啡館一個別稱-Penny University。



正所謂槍打出頭鳥,咖啡館的興盛令其他同行為之眼紅。紳士們不再流連酒吧等風塵之地,將酗酒的壞習慣改成飲高雅大方的飲咖啡。而酒吧、小酒館等對此憤怒非常,並群起攻之。



咖啡館的挫折不止於此。咖啡雖然未及茶葉般能觸發鴉片戰爭,但咖啡館風潮引發了直到現在都沒辦法解決的世紀問題:男女大戰。話說當年英國的咖啡館禁止婦女進入,而前往咖啡館的清談行為被視為無聊而沒有生產力的事,於是婦女們在1674年聚集並發表了《婦女抵制咖啡館請願書》,直指咖啡荼毒人心,甚至會令人類絕種,令男士們面臨頂痰罐、扭耳仔、跪玻璃的危機。



縱使紳士們堅守自己對咖啡和咖啡館的愛,不理枕邊人的反對,但也敵不過英國皇帝查理二世。有識之士的聚集令查理二世擔心咖啡館成為革命的溫床,最終於1675年力排眾議,利用《婦女抵制咖啡館請願書》作藉口一口氣下令所有咖啡館關門,令咖啡館慢慢息微。



直至18,19世紀,咖啡文化被逼讓路給茶和下午茶文化,英國人改為崇尚優閒風的生活態度,去到二十世紀五、六十年代,隨著流行文化和快餐式咖啡室的出現,咖啡文化在英國才漸漸恢復其飲食界的江湖地位。



坐時光機來到今天的香港,在咖啡室雅座上,盡是埋頭苦趕的學生哥、傾生意的老闆們、拍拖的小情侶和提著一袋二袋戰利品的遊客,當然不少得生活品味達人叫杯take away Caramel Macchiato(記得用英文下單)。在咖啡店中,不止咖啡豆在blend,走過歷史痕跡的多元文化也在攪拌著。 

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Education Experts

Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.

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Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.

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MB Cheung, our senior consultant, has been writing education columns for major local newspapers for more than 25 years. With his experience and unique insights, he shares a variety of tips and advice on overseas education for the readers (and DSE students)

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The ratio of teachers and students in Bromsgrove School is 1:8, which is lower than the average among uk boarding schools. In addition, according to my school visit experience, Bromsgrove has the best facilities, that it is undoubtedly one of the best three campuses in the UK. Besides, Bromsgrove spares no expense to provide students comfortable environment, it even invests on the nearby hotel and transfers it into dormitories. As a result, students can possess the “5-star enjoyment” on campus. To conclude, Bromsgrove is definitely a prospective and globalised uk boarding school.
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