August 21, 2020, by Lucy gellman- "It is also a tribute to his love for sweets and coffee, the latter of which he has been making and drinking since he was 12 or 13. As a kid, Hafez was delighted by the very sight of baklava, eyes fixed on trays and cases of the nut-packed sweet as soon as he was tall enough to reach the counter. He also started drinking coffee young, as part of the rituals his family practiced around Ramadan. His mother was a big believer that strong coffee, with dates, apricots, and nuts, should be served after fasting. He is still working on serving dates with coffee as a nod to her. When his family owned a coffee shop in Chicago, Hafez fell in love with the din of grinding beans and whirring espresso machines. Viewers who are lucky enough to get a tour of his studio—which is next door to the cafe at West River Arts—know that he keeps coffee cups, a rounded pot, and grounds in the corner of the space, beside a tin of cookies that is perennially half-full. The beans have been ground so finely that they are a silky brown powder, more like sifted cocoa than coffee. But there never seemed to be enough space for his ideas to percolate in exactly the way he wanted them too. Until this year..." Click HERE to comment and read full article.
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