URUMQI, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- You are my cup of... coffee! Seven years on, Dilxat Tursun can still feel his heart flutter whenever he recalls the moment he clutched 99 roses in his hand and confessed his feelings to Hadiya Msham Abdulla from Tanzania.
Although Hadiya didn't give her answer right away, the two are now happily married, running the Dili and Diya Cafe in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwest China. While brewing a perfect cup of coffee, they love to tell customers and online followers the story of how they found love despite being thousands of miles apart.
Dilxat left his home of Xinjiang to go to college in the eastern city of Fuzhou in 2013, having no clue he was about to meet the love of his life three years later.
"I saw Hadiya for the first time during an open class. Later I met her many times in various contests, so we became quite close," Dilxat recalled, "I admire her because she's very kind-hearted."
The two often met to study and have dinner together. In 2018, Hadiya returned to Tanzania for an internship, and being apart made them realize how much they wanted to stay with each other. Hadiya returned to Fuzhou, and they started dating and got married on May 20, 2020, a date that sounds similar to "I love you" in Chinese.
Hadiya decided to accompany her husband to his hometown Kashgar in 2022.
"I like Kashgar very much. People here are very nice and they help us with any problems we have," said Hadiya. "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 Hadiya's dream, and she's quite adept at this craft. I have also learnt many skills under her tutelage," said Dilxat. "We opened the cafe to offer our customers a brand-new coffee experience."
Starting a business is never easy. For Dilxat and Hadiya, buying the right amount of African coffee beans was a headache.
"Having too many beans in the stockroom runs the risk of them going bad very quickly; 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," said Hadiya. "Making coffee is a very enjoyable thing for me."
The couple poured their hearts and souls into creating the best coffee. Dili and Diya Cafe has become a popular place in the old city area of Kashgar. They also share their business and daily life through live streams 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," said Hadiya.
"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," said Dilxat. "There's a century-old teahouse in Kashgar. I hope that in the future this city will have a century-old cafe -- our cafe."