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The Value of Coffee Time

A Puerto Rican’s Introspection about a Sacred Routine

Issue: March 2022

By José M. Ferrer Tanco

Numerous people have a common ritual during the morning and even break times: drinking coffee. Have you ever wondered why? There must be endless reasons. It is well known that many people have a cup of coffee to help them wake up in the morning. For others, it may just be a habit. Some may drink coffee because they like its aroma. There is no doubt that many, including me, find coffee to be essential for a good day start. In the case of those who feel a passion for coffee, the list of reasons goes on. As a Puerto Rican who loves coffee, I share my insights about why coffee attracts me so much.

First I must say that I feel immensely proud of being born and raised in an island where coffee is cultivated, a coffee that, generally, has been recognized worldwide for its quality. I can humbly say that coffee is in my veins. For over 30 years, I have been savoring espresso every day. It is a sacred routine that I enjoy from the beginning until the end.

My love for coffee is due to the whole experience and the resulting outcome. It all comes down to the joy that good coffee brings through the stimulation of the senses. I find pleasure listening to the sounds of coffee brewing, and those of the espresso machine while pouring coffee into the cup. I stare at the coffee, check its color, and smell it. I never get tired of looking at the espresso’s dark brown color and hazelnut-colored foam known as crema. There is nothing like the delightful aroma of quality coffee. I take a sip to check the espresso’s body and balance of flavors. I like tasting its acidity and slight satisfying bitter. Savoring the rich flavors of an espresso is priceless.

Coffee is one of the few culinary products that can influence and induce appealing experiences through multiple sensory stimulations. Coffee time can be therapeutic. That is why my passion for coffee will never end.

Translation and photograph by N. Michelle Rodríguez Amadeo

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