The Culture of Coffee
I love coffee; I love the culture of coffee more!
It’s interesting because growing up in South Florida I only knew the Cuban coffee culture. Little street windows where you crowd up with others trying to catch the window ladies attention so you can place your quick order.
Your order sounds nothing like anything any other coffee lovers would know of. They’re Hispanic orders of coffee; espresso. Spanish.
Like what, you ask?
“Cafe Con Leche” = A stronger more condensed version of your usual coffee shop Latte. Usually brands of espresso such as Pilon or Bustelo are used.
Then theres the ever universal “un Espresso” with a Hispanic twist.
It’s a shot of strong Cuban Espresso but as the crema pours into the small silver cup, sugar is added and mixed to create a thick sweet creamy espresso “foam”.
Thats really all I knew of coffee until my adolescent years when my “cousin” introduced me to a certain popular coffee chain. I bought into every first timers choice…a blended frozen coffee with caramel syrup, whipped cream and lots of caramel drizzled on top…
At that time I felt that was a trendy grown up choice.
I was 13 years old.
The fact that it had coffee in it was no stranger to me due to the years of coffee I already had consumed since an earlier age. Its the Hispanic way. You’re sipping coffee through your bottle at an early age.
Well as the years passed I grew up in my drink choices; years later I actually worked at a coffee joint-the well known one. I loved writing and when laptops and blogs stepped into the scene, I began to grow in appreciation for the atmosphere of a coffee shop.
Let us set the scene shall we?
The stage is black, the curtains raised. A warm light cues in from a brick fireplace. The lights go up and viola! The most cozy, warm, wonder-filled, artistic encouraged place of your dreams…ok, well my dreams.
I hadnt been that wonderstruck since Disney World!
It was in an authentic Coffee House, Cafe, Coffee Shop; what you will.
All I ever knew were these Hispanic joints and the occasional Starbucks that is very much commercialized and modernly decorated to suite this city life here.
I recalled a few times perhaps seeing such things in movies & television but never dreamed they were real & even better; in certain cities, there were many of them.
Yes, Im being melodramatic but hey; its what was going on inside. Just trying to give ya’ll a well visualization here.
As I began to explore & experience this new culture, it dawned on me that it was in fact that…a culture.
You had the coffee connoisseurs who could smell the beans & know from what country they were grown or the ones who could sip plain black brewed coffee as if it were a wine tasting & describe all the notes to it, such as earthy, smokey, nutty, ect.
I was also introduced to those early risers who own their own coffee grinder and french press. Before working up north at a coffee shop, these terms & items were completely foreign to me.
I was fascinated with coffee. I loved coffee. I had a different palette than those connoisseurs which my Hispanic taste buds & Cuban coffee culture are to blame but all the same, I “needed” it in my life…daily!
So theres the “love” of coffee but after sitting & lounging in several coffee shops, coming back to South Florida created a coffee bean shaped whole in my lil’ “corazon”. Where were my warm, brick & wood, nook filled cozy plush couch coffeehouses?
NO WHERE! No where to be found.
I missed sitting at a coffee shop with a book in hand, my ” for here” mug filled with yummy rich coffee dressed on top with some skillful latte art. I missed coming in from the cold of a beautifully rustic Fall day to sit in a nook with my laptop because inspiration to write was flooding my mind. I had a love affair with the culture of coffee.
Some may think Im such a snob right now or that I’m so “hipster”. Trust me, if you saw me or knew me, Im neither. Im just a girl who loves coffee…and the culture of coffee more!
In recent development, our city has gained one authentic northern looking coffee shop. One is something at least. For years now I have thought, “If only I had lots of money & an awesome business minded investor & partner, I would definitely open up my own coffeehouse”.
Till then, I continue to search the city for more & share this love with others.
It truly is the little things in life…
Well, I take my happy sigh & bid you all good night.
Till the next random thought
::takes a bow. Walks off…stage left…
wrong side….stage right…curtsies center stage, nervous laughter, walks off::