Seven people, two shifts, 500 cups of free coffee to doctors and nurses every day … This coffee shop, that goes by the name Wakanda, has become Wuhan’s latest social media hit.
While most businesses remain closed in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, the cafe named Wakanda Youth Coffee is running at full capacity. Seven baristas race against the clock to prepare some 500 cups of coffee each day and deliver them to three hospitals free of charge.
This coffee shop started to provide free latte for medical staff on the frontline of the epidemic since the implementation of traffic control in Wuhan. It has persisted to this day.
“Doctors and nurses are the true heroes who risk their lives to fight the virus. We’re just trying to help them in our way — with some good coffee,” said Tian Yazhen, owner of the cafe.”After the implementation of traffic control in Wuhan, medical staff came to the store to buy coffee. After chatting with them, they learned that the hospital now has a particularly heavy workload and the medical staff is exhausted. Affected by the epidemic, coffee shops are currently unable to operate normally, so it is better to do some public assistance.”
Tian issued a call to the shop’s 21 employees to resume their work. To her surprise, all six baristas who had stayed in Wuhan agreed to her proposal, including one Iranian national Sina Karami, who later turned down an offer to return to his home country on a chartered flight.Sina said that he:”…also consider myself Chinese now, and I will stay here. Like the Wuhan locals, this is my home now, and I will be with the people of China.”
A typical day at the café starts with thorough disinfection. With protective masks and gloves, the baristas spray each other with medical alcohol and then disinfected equipment with food-grade sanitiser.
Extra efforts are also made in brewing. To prevent cooling during transportation, they perform milk foaming at 80 degrees centigrade, higher than the regular temperature of 60 degrees.
After the coffee shop’s story caught online attention, donations of coffee beans, milk and masks flowed in from their suppliers and netizens. Many donated money through take-out apps, which Tian said would be used for setting a “Latte fund” for medics after the epidemic.
In order to encourage hard-working medical staff, the baristas who are good at handwritten art send messages such as “Salute to you”, “You are the cutest” and “Thank you for having you” on each coffee cup, followed with a name of the person who donated the money through take-out app.