Today I realized that I didn’t have my coffee in the morning. I was out for an appointment early in the morning and then, when I stopped for a small breakfast on my way home, I didn’t order a coffee. I liked mine, the way I made it. So, I got home, sank into writing and rewriting, took a nap, and after a few hours I really needed my cup. It was after 5PM when I brew it, and I’m still enjoying it now, after 6PM.
When we stayed in Nazareth for a few days, I was amazed to see children drinking coffee every morning. They were full of energy anyway, but that didn’t seem to bother the adults. ( I recall that their specific coffee is strong and has a fragrance of pine.)
I saw mom making her first coffee when I was a teenager. I knew that was coffee, but I had never tasted it. I’ve always associated its aroma with the cigarette smoke. Mom got her bag of ground coffee from the Communist store, where they kept it in small containers when they had it, mixed with ground chickpeas. I found out that mom’s dear boss, a lovely German lady, shared some cups of coffee with my mom during their work break and mother kinda got used to it. I recall that she invited me to try a sip. I tried it, but I didn’t like it.
If I’m correct, I had my first coffee with my mother-in-law. Her son and I were newly weds and we lived with my in-laws for a few years. We had the entire second floor for ourselves, with a common entrance and a common interior staircase. When my mother-in-law made coffee, the strong scent invaded the second floor. She started to make one for me everyday. But what was special was this: because original coffee was impossible to find ( it was always mixed with chickpeas), some small merchants who had the right to travel to former Yugoslavia, started to bring instant coffee and sell it on the black market. I can’t forget it, “Amigo” instant coffee.
Making a cup of instant coffee was art.
You put a full teaspoon of the granules in your cup, add the same amount of sugar and 3-4 drops of water. You start working it, mixing it with the spoon until it comes out like a foam. Then you add hot water.
It took maybe 10-20 minutes to finish the process, time when we were around the table in the courtyard under the cherry tree and sharing about our day. I liked drinking my coffee, but much, much more I enjoyed the company of my family and friends.
After many years, when I had my own children and we lived in a flat, I used to send one of my children to the store to buy a few sachets with instant coffee for the week. I can’t forget what I said to my oldest son when he was about 8 years old:
“When I will get old, you will come to visit me and we’ll have a coffee together.” Because coffee is not only a hot drink, but a promise of a sweet relationship, a dear fellowship with family members and friends.