There is one thing that I always need to do no matter where I am traveling or where I am living, and that is to find time to sit down and enjoy una taza de cafe. Everyone who knows me knows that I can’t function without my morning caffeine. However, Coffee is about more than just the energy boost when I am abroad.
Sometimes it is about the taste. When I would wake up and enjoy a nice cup of Costa Rican coffee with my friends in the morning, I knew it was going to be a good day. There is just something about drinking a cup of coffee outside, amidst the tropical morning breeze, that makes it taste so much better.
Sometimes it’s about the company. When I studied abroad in Spain, I couldn’t go off to class without sitting and enjoying my cafe con leche while telling my host mom my plans for the day. The tazitas de cafe in Spain were so small and quick to drink. It was just enough time to practice my Spanish with my host mom and not be late to class. Those times helped me build my confidence when talking to my host family. It’s such a small thing, but it’s those conversations and that cafe con leche that added so much to my study abroad experience.
Sometimes it’s about the variety. In Peru, my host family only had instant coffee. At first, I was let down because I thought my morning coffee would not be good for the 6 weeks that I lived with my Peruvian host family. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the taste of it. It was still cafe peruano, but in a little glass jar ready to be stirred into a cup of hot water and condensed milk. Sounds gross, but it had a unique taste that I tried to imitate when I got back to the states, but the instant coffee here is definitely not the same.
Sometimes it’s just about the time that drinking a cup of coffee gives you to sit and think about life. When I lived in the Dominican Republic, after a big family lunch, my host mom would give me a cup of black Cafe Santo Domingo which I would take with me to the rocking chair on the balcony and just relax before the afternoon activities. Most of the time I would look at the view of the city and think about how lucky I was to be studying in the DR while it was snowing back home.
And sometimes it’s just about having something to do on the subway. When I’m home, I don’t take the time to sit and enjoy coffee on a daily basis. I am usually in a hurry for work every day so I drink my coffee on the go, and it never tastes as good that way. Take the time to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee from time to time!