Pondering Over Coffee

FieldIt’s chilly, as in I’m not comfortable outside in my shorts. It’s before 7 am and I’m sitting in the dim kitchen drinking my daily morning coffee and eating my daily morning bread. It’s Saturday. My family started playing the polka at 6 am. Being a light sleeper, I gave up trying to snooze and brushed my teeth at 6:20 am.

The chicken that I thought was one of my best friends tries to steal my bread. The kitchen has a window without glass or a shutter and a door that stays open to the outside during the day. The cold air wafts toward me. I set my mug on my leg to warm up.

This morning, the coffee is already sweetened. That’s not always the case, but today it is. The coffee is syrupy, painfully sweet. It’s like liquid coffee-flavored hard candies.

A Paraguayan coffee recipe:

  • 2/3 – Hot water
  • Just enough to thoroughly color the water – Instant coffee or finely ground coffee
  • 1/3 – Milk
  • Many, many spoons – Sugar

Mix coffee and water. Add milk at the end of the cooking process. Add sugar before drinking.

Soaking my white bread in the coffee-flavored-sugar, milk-flavored-water I wonder why my family makes their coffee this way. In my past life, I didn’t drink coffee, but this is Paraguay.

In the shadows, I consume my coffee—reminding myself not to gulp it every time I lift my mug.  The new sun makes the trees outside shiny green.

“Oh, I get it,” I think. “I know why they use so much sugar in their coffee…it must be the cheapest ingredient, apart form water, in the mix. That’s it, they add sugar to make it taste like something.”

Somehow that realization is settling. I sip my coffee and dunk the last of my bread. I too would rather have sugar-flavored-coffee than coffee-flavored-water everyday.