A Cup of Coffee…

Rosa Martinez

Photo: todocuba.org

HAVANA TIMES – It’s born green, collected when red, sold when yellow and enjoyed when it’s black. Do you know what I’m talking about? Well, coffee…

If somebody wanted to ever poison me, they would just need a little bit of this aromatic bean to successfully complete their mission; because I can’t live without it and I never refuse a cup from anyone.  

By 6 AM, when I’ve been awake for an hour and a half or so already, I’d have drunk 3 cups of fine Cuban coffee, not the bad-tasting one that they sell in the bodega ration’s store, but the tasty kind that is roasted here in eastern Cuba.

People in western Cuba don’t like this kind very much, but nobody here can resist a cup of roasted coffee at home, ground in a traditional grinder, like I imagine our indigenous people did.

My addiction to coffee isn’t a thing of late, now that I am a 50-something year old woman and I need different recipes to calm my nerves; this addiction dates back to my early years when I wouldn’t eat breakfast if I didn’t have a little bit of milky coffee made by my grandmother.

Yes, because honestly, my mother’s didn’t taste the same, and even though she tried to deceive me, giving me a cup and telling me that my grandmother had made it, I would look at her with a sour face and straight out say: you’re lying, you strained it.

My grandmother passed away without knowing how it was that I was able to recognize her coffee from all the others. Maybe she never understood just how special she was, even straining a simple cup of coffee.

Well, going back to my age-old addiction: as it was the end of the year, I decided to give myself one or two luxuries before 2019 was out, in case I didn’t see the New Year in. And because new clothes or shoes don’t really make me happy, I’m happier with comforts around the house, and these are a lot harder (I mean more expensive) to get. I decided to give myself a present and bought a bag of excellent Serrano coffee and a Coffeemate, which I discovered just a year and a half ago, but I haven’t stopped dreaming about it ever since.

When I got back home, smiling with my Serrano coffee and my Coffeemate in hand, I mean plastic bag, my daughters asked me: “hey, why are you so happy?”

“Well, nothing,” I replied, “I decided to buy this for myself.”

“And you paid 10 CUC for that?” one of my daughters said, shocked. “Mami, but that’s so expensive, I wouldn’t even pay 2 CUC for that.”

“Well you see, I wouldn’t even pay 5 CUC for those shorts you’re wearing, but you liked them and I paid 10 CUC for them.

And just so you know, the Coffeemate is just for me, so don’t come asking me mamita can I have a little bit…”

Rosa Martínez

Rosa Martinez: I am another Havana Times contributing writer, university professor and mother of two beautiful and spoiled girls, who are my greatest joy. My favorite passions are reading and to write and thanks to HT I’ve been able to satisfy the second. I hope my posts contribute towards a more inclusive and more just Cuba. I hope that someday I can show my face along with each of my posts, without the fear that they will call me a traitor, because I’m not one.

9 thoughts on “A Cup of Coffee…

  • January 18, 2020 at 3:20 am

    Rosa, So nice to read that someone else savors the Cuban coffee as I do. I have great memories of the two times I traveled to CUBA and enjoyed the palatable taste of the Cuban coffee, there at the National Hotel in Havana. Here in the USA one can find 100’s of flavored, different roasts, etc. of coffee. But since I drink it Black one knows a great tasting coffee when they taste it. Enjoy your Cuban coffee!!!

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