A subtle difference between Japanese and Chinese independent cafes: in Japan when extras such as cream or syrup are brought to the table they are removed once a ‘reasonable time’ has passed, in China they remain on the table until the customer has left. My hypothesis is this: in Japan there is a strong tendency to return unused items to safe storage – be it a refrigerator or under cover, less they become contaminated (leaving them out also suggests that they were left out from the previous user – which means that the current customer is also being offered contaminated good). In other words – removing anything that can detract from the the holistic experience of drinking coffee.
For every task a flow, for every culture and context a ‘natural’ pace and ordering to that flow.
Photo? Cafe Dan, Shanghai.