Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Morning coffee - ahhhh

There is nothing like the aroma of fresh coffee, especially in the morning. My morning coffee memories go back to the days of childhood, when my grandmother was visiting us. She would get up ridiculously early (6 am) and have her coffee percolating while the rest of us were still sleeping - I remember lying in bed and enjoying the delicious smell, knowing my grandmother was down in the living room.

My grandmother continued to percolate her coffee long after many people moved on to Taster's Choice instant, or drip coffee makers. She insisted on grinding her own beans at the grocery store. She drank it black, and strong, like syrup, and she drank it all day long.

I'm probably not a true coffee lover - I take mine with heaps of sugar and lots of milk (cream if we have it). My coffee is diluted into some other sweetened coffee-flavored drink, and if I can't have it like that, I'd rather not have it at all. It takes me a long time to drink my coffee; it's usually lukewarm by the time I get to the bottom (but that's where the sugar has sunk and those last swigs are soooo yummy!).

Coffee is one of our cherished routines here - one cup in the morning around the ridiculously early time of 6 am (funny how that works - as one gets older, the mornings get earlier), and another cup in the evening. We never use instant coffee, it's dripped coffee, a particular brand that seems smooth and does not create havoc inside my stomach. Our local tienda has started stocking our coffee for us - but it's not on the shelf, we have to request it, and they bring it out from the back. Just one thing to love about Mexico - the personal touch.

Miguel takes his coffee unsweetened, with or without milk. Although he prefers his coffee fresh and hot, he will even drink it cold, pouring the leftovers into a glass and drinking it like coke. More than once I've been thirsty and reached for his glass of 'coke', looking to quench my thirst so I wouldn't have to get up and get my own refreshment - luckily, the smell hits my nostrils before the cold, bitter liquid hits my lips. Blech!

During Hurricane Wilma, when we were without power for 15 days, we still found a way to make our drip coffee. We boiled water on the gas stove, and then ladled the water over the coffee grounds that we put into the drip-coffee maker's filter tray . In order for the water to drip out of the tray, we had to push the lever - taking care not to burn our fingers. Although we had sugar, we did not have milk - so I drank my coffee black and because we were without so many other things during that time (lights being one of them), I felt like we were living in the lap of luxury with that black coffee.

I was hoping I might learn to drink black coffee after Wilma, but no - as soon as we had milk, I was back to my pale sweetened drink. Some routines are just too enjoyable to give up - my sweet coffee is one of them.


Anonymous said...

You know 6AM must be a magic number. That's when I start my routine too. It's neat to read your note thinking back to your grandmother.

Anonymous said...

I love my morning coffee and I am an extra early morning person, even when I am visiting Isla Mujeres.
I like deep dark French Roast and I always grind fresh beans every morning.
Like you, Sue, I like sugar and cream in my coffee, and recently I have been using "La Lechera" brand sweetened condensed milk. Here in Tejas I get it at the Fiesta super mercado in tiny little cans, they sell it in a six pack!
One tiny can is perfect for my oversized latte mug.
I have seen the tiny cans of "La Lechera" at the Super Mercado on the island, maybe the Super Ronco has them too.
Try it sometime!

IslaZina said...

What? No leche en polvo in your Wilma dispensa! You poor thing. You should have said something. BTW, I went to Mauricio today and since I have left Isla so little in five years, he thinks he can retroactivate the FM2. Casi Mexicana!
What a nice man.

Sue said...

Ok, I'm going to guess that the first "anonymous" is Bennie, and the second is Scott? (familiar writing styles). In any case, thanks for your comments and the tip for La Lechera - I will have to look for that sometime. Of course it would just be better if we don't have any hurricanes, then I wouldn't have to worry!

Zina - I don't think we got the powdered milk; neither did we get the cookies on our dispensa. I could use some powdered milk in the house, I have bread machine recipes that call for it. I hate it in my coffe, but hey - if that's all I have, then I'll just have to make do, right? And great news on the FM2 - I hope it works out for you!

Bennie said...

You are a good at this guessing game of who wrote which notes. #1 was Bennie.

Anonymous said...

Bennie is correct and you are correct I am the pseudo anonymous coffee commenter number two...more "shy" than "anonymous"

leche en polvo does nothing for me in coffee but I can see how it would be practical from a disaster stash standpoint plus it is handy for baking and also making soups and gravies and sauces (though I guess using powdered milk is sort of like "cheating")

The tiny cans of "La Lechera" are actually called "La Lecherita" which I must admire for the accuracy.

Sweetened condensed milk in dark French Roast coffee actually comes from Vietnam, I love the way they serve it fresh and hot and a little bitter, with the sweetened condensed milk.

When I am not prowling the Super Mercado here in Tejas, there is always the Hong Kong Super Market, which is just as amazing as the Fiesta, only Asian instead of Latin. Plus they have all these huge tanks full of fish for eating which is sort of like being at the aquarium in a squeamish sort of way...

Plus at the Hong Kong Super Market there is a little food court where you can get a huge steaming bowl of pho with all kinds of unmentionable animal parts mixed in with your noodles and of course they have jalapenos cilantro and lime to squueze in there along with fresh basil...yeah almost like Mexico...then after that big bowl of noodle soup you have French Roast Coffee with Sweetened Condensed Milk...

I don't know how to say "Elsie" in Spanish or Vietnamese and I have no idea where to get a bowl of pho in all of Quintana Roo, I will stick with sopa de lima at La Lomita and chilpachole at La Bruja and I will remain anonymous and a little shy and probably Scott, too.