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Monday, April 25, 2011


A little while ago I was sorting through the stuff in my pantry and happened upon one of the "Magic Coffee Pots" I inherited from my father.
Anyone who knew my dad, or ever visited my house when I was growing up, probably was treated to a taste of this incredible concoction. Some lived to tell the tale.
The caffeine level was through the roof, as was the amount of sugar contained in what was the equivalent of a shot glass, only hot, very hot. Papi didn't believe in serving coffee unless it was likely to burn your gullet on the way down.
Making it was a production -- he did not use a real coffee maker, but instead boiled water in a beat up metal cup, added copious amounts of sugar to the water then strained in boatloads -- and I mean boatloads -- of coffee grounds using "the sock."
"The sock" was made out of a wire hanger around which Papi had carefully sewn pristine white flannel in the shape of a cone. A mysterious amount of grounds were spooned into "the sock," and then the boiled sugar water was poured into it, straining the whole shebang into individual cups.
You had to drink it right away. I mean, seconds later. Seconds. Anything else and you were a serious wimp.
My father (right) and his brother one Saturday afternoon, post coffee.
On Saturday afternoons, especially if one of my uncles was visiting, the coffee was a family ritual.
After the coffee they would sit around and chat or try to beat each other shooting dice.
My father and his brothers and sisters somehow could do shots of that stuff the way some people drink water. They slept soundly whether they drank it morning, noon, or before bedtime.
I'd give anything to wake up tomorrow to that same scent, but that's not possible these days. 
Amen, and somebody pass me some Cuban coffee.

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