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Two teaspoons of finely ground coffee, water from a samovar. If desired – a few cardamom seeds, star anise, cinnamon or a pinch of ground black pepper. Then a minute or two of cumin on the hot sand in the middle of the Lviv park, and the coffee is ready: fresh, fragrant and unusually tasty. This is exactly the kind of coffee that Dmytro from Kherson brews in his homemade coffee shop in Sknyliv Park.
How a hobby turned into a job
About Dmytro, who makes coffee in the park, we learned from the social networks. To make sure that the coffee from the machine is truly tasty, we just came to the park. Right at the entrance, there is an unusual bicycle with handlebars, frame, a black box behind it. In front of the bike – a whole construction, where on a flat surface there is sand with cezve, 15-liter bucket, converted on the principle of an old samovar, and a chimney.
People take pictures of everything with interest, but we primarily want to try coffee. We immediately learn that the idea of creating this miracle coffee maker is the work of Dmytro himself.
The 38-year-old man says that he came to Lviv with his wife, two children and a dog from Kherson at the beginning of a full-scale war. We got here for three days. He loves travelling, hiking, climbing, and rafting. She loves to go to the Carpathians, especially in winter. Dmytro is an engineer-teacher by profession. Before moving here, he worked as a teacher-instructor in extreme sports and made rope parks. He moved to our city because his wife is from Lviv.
To support his family, he immediately started looking for a job. At first, the man thought of making shavarma, then aimed at oriental cuisine, but it didn’t work out. For some time, he welded metal while working on construction. And when the project was completed, the question arose as to what to do next.
«I understood perfectly well that when another half a million people came to the city of Lviv due to the war, it will be difficult to find a job. So I decided that what I really needed to do was learn how to do it right. No wonder they say, «- if the mountain does not go to Muhammad, then Mohammed goes to the mountain.» I sat in the garage for a while and came up with something,» – says Dmytro.
The idea, the project, the bike itself, the details to it – all belongs to Dmytro. He had something, acquaintances gave something else, he bought some details, reworked them and made a coffee maker in two weeks.
«Nothing special: wheels, brakes, iron frame, a little dexterity of hands – and you’re done,» – says the interlocutor, brewing in the open air on a homemade coffee bike coffee with spices to a woman in a wheelchair.
According to Dmytro, he knew the principle of brewing coffee in a coffee pot on the sand, because his wife made coffee at such a «coffee shop» in Kherson. But this mobile one, on a bicycle is completely different.
According to Dmytro, he is not an «awesome» barista, but loves to cook and make coffee. During the conversation, he never mentioned that his coffee was the best. He assures that he will not compete for any title. This is superfluous. But what he knows for sure is that every portion of his coffee is brewed with the soul, it can be drunk only in Sknyliv Park.
Dmytro chose the location for his coffee machine. Firstly, he lives nearby and often walks here with children, and secondly – there is no cafe where you can drink good coffee.
«I do not compete with anyone. After all, with a coffee shop, we would have a slightly different plane of theirs and mine. My coffee is not better, but not worse. It’s different. And people always have a choice,» – he said.
Dmytro orders coffee specially for brewing in the park. Mostly, it’s «Arabica Brazil Santos». He does not want to say exactly where he makes the order, he only says that in Lviv, «he knows a very ideological man who lives by coffee.»
«He roasts the grain himself, grinds it. When my wife and I came to him with our idea, he immediately said that he already knew what we needed. Gave us a few varieties to try. All his coffee is ground to a powder, so it’s soft and delicious,» – he explains.
By the way, Dmytro bought most of the pots he uses to make coffee in the Caucasus, where he lived for some time.
«According to the classics, in their Arabian desert, the Arabs brewed coffee on the sand. We are now used to coffee machines where you can press a button and the coffee will brew itself. But this coffee can’t be with spices, it’s different. Mine – on the sand and with the addition of fragrant spices. For example, you can add cardamom, bodice or black pepper, which will add spiciness and vitality,» – Dmytro explains.
When asked if he plans to travel to other parks with his coffee machine or go to the Lviv city centre, he answered unequivocally «no».
«You don’t have to go after people. You need to make people come to you. There would probably be more people in the centre, but I don’t want that. On the contrary, I really want people to go a little out of the centre here, to the park. It’s like fishing – when you run around the pond and throw a fishing rod in different places for a minute, nothing will bite. And if you sit down in one place and take food, you will start to bite,» – jokes Dmytro, adding that there are many wonderful cafes in Lviv, but they lack soul.
«My credo is that the kitchen cannot be the same. It’s like a housewife who cooks borsch: a good one will never be the same. And if so, then cooked without a soul. I haven’t found a cafe with a soul in Lviv yet,» – says the man.
Before making coffee, Dmytro likes to talk to people, ask questions, see eyes, give emotions and a smile. Every such coffee is someone’s story. For example, he had coffee with a «colleague» – a park cleaner, because Dmytro, like him, also considers himself an employee of the park. As a token of gratitude, the cleaner read a few of his poems to Dmytro.
In line for coffee with cardamom
Dmytro brews coffee in Sknyliv Park only on the fourth day. He says he will stand here from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
He sold the most 50 cups of coffee a day. Price varies from 35 to 40 hryvnias if adding spices. However, today, there is a real excitement – the queue is growing. The woman wants a classic, with milk, and the man also with pepper. Dmytro immediately suggests that spices are a very specific thing, so he lets everyone smell them and only then offers to choose.
The man is most afraid that he will run out of coffee and his wife will have to deliber it to him.
«In the first days, passing by me in the park, people were more interested in what I was doing, where I was from, taking photos and walking. And the next time they approached and asked what kind of coffee, with what. There was a funny case when smoke came out of the samovar, and people asked if I would fry kebabs,» – Dmytro continues.
For coffee, he has cookies and cakes, which are called «pundyky». His wife bakes them. In a few days, he will start selling homemade lemonade and kvas with coffee. He also wants to finish the trailer with a barbecue for the bicycle. So, it is likely that you will soon be able to have a burger for coffee or a taste of bograch.
In his free time, Dmytro volunteers and together with his godfather collects money and things for the Armed Forces and refugees. This is mostly targeted assistance.
Dmytro’s biggest dream is to return home to Kherson.
«I still dream of eating Kherson watermelons this year. It is desirable that it was on the shores of the lake near which we live. I will dip my feet in the water, take a Kherson watermelon, the juice of which will flow down my stomach, and I will eat like that,» – dreams the untrue barista who brews real coffee in a pot in a Lviv park.
Olha Shveda, translated by Vitalii Holich
Photo: Your city / Ivan Stanislavsky
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