There's a couple by Everest Base Camp.
Some are signposts of civilisation.
Some are charming.
Some even serve a decent cuppa.
There's a few I remember visiting—
Alone, by the river in Nakameguro.
In Paris's Latin Quarter, Hanoi's French Quarter.
In cool Ekkamai in Bangkok.
In moody Mandalay.
Somewhere more up than down Hong Kong's Central.
By Sydney Opera House.
A block or two from my old room in Alphabet City, Manhattan.
With a friend in Calcutta's Indian Coffee House.
Countless kopitiams, Starbucks' and tea houses in Singapore—striking how the more different each tries to be, the more similar they feel.
Recalling sights and sounds, tastes and smells, dates and faces is easy.
Feelings are harder.
And even the ones that surface—well, memory has almost certainly changed what was felt.
And yet, the "café" I travel to most is a memory—
A rainy day.
A common room.
Cups of tea made and served without change from a 50-year-old family kitchen.
With life's people—father, mother, sister, helpers—voices and laughter rising in the foreground.
And in harmony, tea and selves disappearing into comforting nothings.