Early Life: how we grew up!

Early Life: how we grew up!

Grandma's sock! , (strainer cloth) M earliest recollection of coffee was at a young age watching my grandmother brewing coffee using a sock. This type of brewing was called colado or colaó. The joke was that they looked like a sock that she would use. (Sorry G)  She used to share a bit of fresh Cafe every afternoon after school. For her, drinking coffee around 3:00 PM was almost a religious tradition. She had to be back home to brew her coffee regardless of where she was, or she would prepare in advance and keep it warm in a thermos for enjoying at 3!

Haciendas: I grew up in a coffee town, where multiple historical and beautiful Haciendas were growing, processing, and roasting coffee even in the most rustically and traditional way. From water mills to peal the beans from their shells to roasting in the sun for a perfect time. These haciendas were on curvy roads with steep mountains, arriving at them was a dizzy drive, but the fresh and cool breeze of the hills and coffee shrubs woke you up. I remember visiting Hacienda Buena Vista, it was built in 1833 and is significant for various reasons. First, it contains the only remaining example of the Barker hydraulic turbine, which was the first reaction-type turbine ever made. The coffee de-pulping and husking mill is a 2-story wooden building located to the northwest of the Hacienda manor house. It originally housed the 1845 corn mill but in 1892, with the need for processing the coffee beans produced by Hacienda Buena Vista, the structure was modified to become the coffee husking mill.

Coffee factory: My town was lucky to have a big processing factory in the middle of the city, everybody knew when Cafe Rico was roasting coffee and or grinding the beans in their machines. The whole area will smell of this magical aroma, and we only had one option to breathe deep and keep it for the rest of the day. Cafe Rico used to be called Cooperativa de Cafeteros (Coffee-growers Cooperative). Its coffee has been reported to be Puerto Rico's best and its San Carlos Selection is said to have been the Vatican's favorite coffee at one time.

Coffee Festivals: Next to our town was Yauco, one of the largest and most famous coffee festivals in the area. I remember the artisans making not just coffee with their best beans but even art made out of coffee beans or related to coffee. Called El Pueblo del Café (“Coffee Town”), Yauco has long been a hub in the Puerto Rican coffee industry. I remember running around and watching every single vendor that was presenting their products.

Cafe con Leche y tostadas de pan de agua Café Con Leche is just Spanish for coffee with milk. And if you are like most people on the islands, it is hard to start a morning without a good cup of coffee to help get you going. Pan de Agua, which translates into water bread, is similar to some of the bread you may find in France and Italy, but it has a different baking process. Dipping the tostadas or toasts into the cáfe con Leche is how I still drink my coffee.

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