El Cáfe de Mamatule

Intoxicating was its smell.  Deep and fragrant, black and sweet, a color rich, dark enough to see myself in its reflection, lazily rubbing at my eyes, entire palms, in upward motion, over my face, across my hair, meeting once again at the back of my neck, then all over again.  That coffee was strong.  It literally possessed the ability to wake me from my sleep no matter how few hours I might have been in bed.

¡Y no era para más! This wasn’t Nescafé or any of the other instant coffees we were used to.  This coffee was roasted over an open flame, ground by hand on the molino, simmered over an open flame, brought to a boil in an old clay pot, toda chamusqueada de abajo from being used so many times,  and served with love in even older tin can mugs.  It’s one of those memories that’s stuck with me.  Literally, stood the test of time.

This Sunday when I was making coffee in a regular boiling cup at my parents house, because their coffee machine is broken and they haven’t bought a new one yet, el chocolate La Abuelita caught my eye.

There I was once again descalzo y todo chorreado, standing at the entrance of Mamatule’s sticks and mud kitchen, waiting for her to wave me in, ¿tienes hambre mijo?   ¿quieres una tasita de café? And for just one second it felt real.  I wanted to walk inside and sit down, listen to the back and forth between her and my grandfather, my mother telling her she shouldn’t work so hard, my grandfather asking us if we were del otro lado, you know, americanos.  Just to sit there one more time.

Then Edgar said: what are you doing?  Are you making coffee?

I smiled and put the chocolate into the pot.

This is also my One Shot Wednesday entry for One Stop Poetry this week. Check out more prose and poetry from others too – Click Here.

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