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Coffee shop couple know a latte about brewing romance

China Daily| Updated: September 16, 2023

Kashgar in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is known as a trade hub on the legendary Silk Road that once connected ancient China to the West. Dilxat Tursun and his wife, Hadiya Msham Abdulla, from Tanzania own a coffee shop in the city, which is renowned not only for its tasty African coffee and treats, but also the owners' love story.

Seven years on, Dilxat can still feel his heart flutter whenever he recalls the moment that, clutching 99 roses in his hand, he confessed his feelings to her.

Although Abdulla didn't give her answer right away, the two are now happily married, running the Dili and Diya Cafe.

While brewing a good cup of coffee, they love to tell customers and online followers the story of how they found love despite being thousands of kilometers apart.

Dilxat left his home of Xinjiang in 2013 to go to college in the eastern city of Fuzhou, Fujian province, having no clue he was about to meet the love of his life three years later.

"I saw her for the first time during an open class. Later, I met her many times in various exams, so we became quite close," Dilxat recalls.

"I admire her because she's very kindhearted."

The two often met to study and have dinner together. In 2018, Abdulla returned to Tanzania for an internship, and being apart made them realize how much they wanted to stay with each other.

She came back to Fuzhou, and they started dating and got married on May 20, 2020, a date that sounds similar to "I love you" in Chinese.

Abdulla decided to accompany her husband to his hometown of Kashgar last year.

"I like Kashgar very much. People here are very nice and they help us with any problems we have," says the wife.

"Kashgar has deserts and so many snowy mountains. It is so beautiful."

Shortly after, they had a baby, and a plan for the future — to open a cafe.

"Making coffee is her dream, and she's quite adept at the craft. I have also learned many skills under her tutelage," says Dilxat.

"We opened the cafe to offer our customers a brand-new coffee experience."

Starting a business is never easy. For the couple, buying the right amount of African coffee beans was a headache.

"Having too many beans in the stock room runs the risk of them spoiling, while having too few means that they will run out quickly. But we have figured out an optimal amount after months of trial and error," says Abdulla.

"Making coffee is a very enjoyable thing for me."

The couple poured their hearts and souls into creating the best coffee. The cafe has become a popular place in the old city area of Kashgar. They also share their business and daily life through livestreams on social media.

"I hope we can open a chain of stores in every city in Xinjiang, so that our fans can enjoy our coffee wherever they are," says Abdulla.

"Recent years have seen rapid development in Kashgar. The old city area is a scenic spot with huge potential. I'm very optimistic about it," says Dilxat.

"There's a century-old teahouse in Kashgar. I hope that in the future the city will have a century-old cafe — our cafe."