Drinking coffee for Latinos is not just a morning routine — it’s really part of our culture. My grandmother, being the first to introduce me to coffee during our mornings together, really showed me that it was more than just a cup of coffee. She’d drink coffee all through the day. A cup in the morning as she was waking up, and another cup as she prepared lunch. My grandmother prepared her café con leche sweet and delicious!
I’ve never really liked drinking hot coffee, let alone in the mornings. Waking up, my routine was far from having a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. As I get older, I realize why many in my family feel the need to have a cup — we need the energy! I enjoy my coffee flavored and iced. I enjoyed it most when my grandmother would add extra cold milk and sugar. I can still taste the sweet concoction as I sipped from a spoon rather than straight from the cup. It wasn’t often she’d let me have my own cup. My grandmother would discourage me from asking by saying, “No café! You won’t grow. Do you want to be as short as your aunt?” My aunt really loved coffee, and she was the shortest in our family. I like to believe she drank so much coffee that it ran through her blood.
My parents are grandparents now, and much like my grandmother, they can be seen on their time off enjoying a cup of coffee together. I’ve witnessed the conversations and the peace they bring to our family by just enjoying a cup of coffee by themselves or with family after an amazing dinner. While they don’t practice the ritual of drinking coffee right after waking up, they occasionally stop at a coffee shop or gas station for a cup of coffee.
During conferences and blogging events, my fellow Latinas sit and enjoy coffee as they share the latest of their accomplishments. It brings us all together. I’ve even witnessed the chaos in the mornings at our shared hotel rooms of my blogging amigas trying to figure out our coffee machine in the morning.
To me, the best part of waking up is seeing how everyone around me enjoys their coffee, because it is those same expressions from their first sips that remind me of many of my family members and the memories we’ve shared over a cup of coffee.
Learn what my Latina friends say the best part of waking up is for them and how they enjoy their coffee:
Are you a coffee drinker? How do you like your coffee?
Read more of Ruby’s writing at Growing Up Blackxican