Coffee! Just hearing the word, and I can smell that dark, sweet and rich aroma. Just say the word, Coffee, and I can taste it, hot, and strong and wonderful. Coffee, the elixir of life!
Coffee. There was a pot always brewing at our house when I was growing up. We used to joke and say our family coat of arms should have a hand passing a coffee cup.
Coffee. Even as I write this, I have a steaming mug of coffee at hand.
On our last day in the old country,( eleven years ago now) the owner of our local espresso shop said all of our purchases for the day were on the house. “ Well I do want to pay for the twenty pounds of coffee beans I just ordered.” Said I.
The owner was adamant: “ Absolutely not, this is our gift to you. You got out of the rat-race! Enjoy Mexico.”
And so we drove down the peninsula to La Paz, the truck was loaded to the gills. My coffee grinder, coffeepot, filters and mugs were at easy reach.
We knew about two espresso shops in La Paz, but we were not sure if they sold whole beans, and we- well I – wanted to be prepared.
One shop, Café del Tropico sold whole beans from their family finca in Vera Cruz, and their coffee was divine. They closed up shop about five years ago and decamped back to Mexico City.
We tried roasters here and there in La Paz, but were never 100% pleased.
When we have US or Canadian guests coming down to stay at the HoneyMoon Hut, we ask them to bring us some Starbucks, Verona Roast, whole bean ( decaf). But recently I re-discovered Café La Choya in La Paz. A tiny shop on Colima Street a few block past the police station.
There are no words to describe the elixir they dispense. That is where I buy my beans. Their location is not so conducive to meeting friends and clients. But the owner is charming and has 4,000 followers including me on Facebook!
Espresso cafes have sprung up all over La Paz. Some are good some are passable. My drink of choice is known at many of the cafes in town, and the baristas just confirm if it is a caliente (hot ) or frio ( cold) coffee day.
My friends and I meet regularly at one of the couple of shops we call home. And when I make an appointment with my accountant, he asks: “At your auxiliary office?” And we both know which café that is!
Coffee. Revolutions have been planned in the “Penny Universities” the other name for coffee shops, great novelists have been aided by the creative kick of caffeine, business deals have been struck, and romances bloomed and friendships were forged over a couple of double mochas.