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…”

9 thoughts on “A Cup of Coffee…

  • 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!!!

  • A Cuban friend asked me to bring a couple of bags of ground “Dark Roast” Tim Horton’s coffee because a friend of hers had mentioned that Canadians love their Tim Horton’s coffee and drink it voraciously. My Cuban friend tried brewing the coffee and simply loved the taste and swore it was extremely delicious and aromatic. I don’t know whether the friend simply wanted to experience a truly Canadian cultural experience in Cuba or whether Tim Horton’s coffee ranks up there with the truly home grown Cuban Cubita and other notorious brands. With the extreme shortages of everything in Cuba, particularly coffee, a few bags of Tim Horton’s ground “Dark Roast” coffee perks up any sleepy Cuban neighborhood.

  • Yes.. It’s toasted like that… Delicious.. Ken, If you come to this area I could get some for you…

  • Yes , Cuban coffee is very good .I am very fortunate…here , in Niagara Falls Ontario Canada there is a small Cuban cigar store that also sells Cubita..my favorite coffee . Serrano in the red bag came on the scene in Cuba a few years ago I think and there is lots of it for sale out at the airport stores….Havana , Varadarro, etc .The best coffee I ever tasted was roasted by Juan , the husband of Elsa , our hosts in LA Boca at our casa particular . The beans were from the hills beyond Trinidad. He roasted them in a big cast iron pot over a wood fire stirring constantly with a big wooden paddle .And the best thing…..he gave me a half kilo to take home that I treasure and use sparingly !

  • Yes, Serrano coffee is missing from the market. But as in guantanamo most people don’t buy coffee in the cuc stores, here its easier to find than in Havana.
    Thanks for the comments.

  • Coffee in moderation is good for the kidneys recent findings say.

  • Havana trip in November….couldn’t find any Serrano….anywhere….

  • Rosa

    Memories of visiting my grandfather in San Luis, Oriente. I have traveled around the world and the memories of the aroma brings a smile.

    Gracias Rosa


  • Rosa,

    I’m coffee holic too. Where can I buy Serrano coffee in Havana?

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