Life here revolves around coffee.
Walk into any one’s house and the first question is “Do you drink coffee?”
All they are checking for is that you don’t have some medical problem that prevents you from consuming caffeine. If you are a healthy person, you are about the receive some sugary coffee.
Some of my friends know me well enough to know I don’t like sugar in my coffee. These are the moments where I feel most integrated. When I go to my counterpart’s house, her mom emerges minutes later (no questions asked) with a giant cup of bitter coffee. Once one of her sons tried to stop her when she made a separate greca for me and she yelled back: “Maria will drink the whole greca if you let her! As long as there isn’t sugar in it!” I love it when people KNOW me.
I won’t be redundant and explain to you how Dominicans make coffee. Instead I will link you to another volunteer’s (Grayson) post on this matter: Dominican Coffee 101. It has everything you need to know.
This is how every one here makes coffee. Cubans make it the same way, but get fancy with the sugar in order to make it foam (google how to make Cuban coffee if you’re bored). I usually make coffee like this as well, but some days it makes my tummy hurt, so I have improvised.
To begin with I only purchase Monte Alto coffee which is grown and processed here in Jarabacoa. This isn’t the best expresso coffee because it isn’t finely ground, so sometimes I stick to my old favorite Bustelo for when I use my greca.
However, I have recently began using this tea steeper using the same logic as a french press. It has a chamber that holds the coffee or tea until its done steeping, and a button to release it into the second compartment. No bitterness, and an excellent cup of coffee. WINNING.
Or when I’m feeling creative I make Vietnamese Iced Coffee (mas o menos). Condensed milk and expresso. Not an every day drink, for sure, especially because I don’t like sugar in my coffee, but once in awhile a little variety is good for staying sane.
This post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t make a reference to a song or a book. So, I leave you with JaRule, who I feel captures my relationship with coffee.
Where would I be without my baby
The thought alone might break me
And I don’t wanna go crazy
But every thug needs a lady