Hablando de lo que pica el gallo…formando un arroz con mango.
The gurgling sound from the cafetera brings me back to present time. I had spaced out somewhere between the sugar and the water and now se me paso el café. I quickly replace the glass coffee pot with a smaller one and raise the coffee to the frother, turning the knob on the opposite side. I’m trying to save the coffee. To my luck, these espresso machines are more efficient than the aluminum ones when it comes to making la espumita, so el café never really goes bad. Still, at times I miss the old cafeteras, the ones that sat on the stove top and required you to wait for the first few drops of café to spurt out so you could mix it with the sugar. It took precision. Too much coffee and the consistency was off. Too little sugar, y te quedaba el café amargo. And there was an art form in the stirring, a technique in the wrist. I reach for the towel sitting over the edge of the sink and wipe off the drops of coffee that drip from the spout after I have removed the coffee pot and turned off the pressure. The machine still sizzles, steam invisibly releasing itself from somewhere in the machine. As I reach for the tasa, I try to remember the exact moment I learned how to do this. I know I was young, I could barely reach the counter. I take a quick sip from the tasita, the dark Cuban substance traveling past my lips and straight down my throat. I feel it instantly warm me from the inside out, the sweet flavor layering my lips. In one swift motion, my purse swings over my shoulder and I head for the door. In the kitchen, the espresso machine still toots. And in my head I hear the old Cuban saying “ya te puedes casar,” as the taste lingers deep in my taste buds, strong enough to last the entire morning.