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Coffee, Dad, & Me!

Coffee in a blue and white demitasse with sugar cubes.

A family love of coffee

I grew up loving coffee! My dad always made it special. Coffee in our Haitian-cultured, Caribbean household was served in a demitasse alongside with a few sugar cubes—the cute, small, thickly dense crystalline white Domino brand kind—that my mom kept in a covered ornamented porcelain bowl. If we ever ran out of the sugar cubes, approximately a teaspoon of the white granulated sugar would be added instead. It’s necessary to mention the kind of sweetener because not all sweeteners are the same.

Depending on the sweetener it can easily change the taste of your coffee. But as for adding a teaspoon, yeah my dad liked it sweet! He would humor me with his funny faces of disgust when there wasn’t enough sugar in it. I suppose someone who likes less sugar would do the same. Anyways, if you would’ve seen his coffee, it would be molasses black with swirls of foam and steam coming from his cup. I think we could easily say he loved espresso

Coffee many ways

We made coffee two different ways in our house. We used either a Bialetti for the stove top or a drip coffee maker where we would add a small amount of water so the coffee would be super strong. It was all about having a sweet, intense, hot and powerful little beverage in a cup. Sometimes it served as a nice delicious liquid dessert. We would add some creamer like dulce de leche or evaporated milk to make it creamy and smooth. 

My Dad would ask me regularly to make him coffee mid-day or after dinner. He would say, “Petite go…Go make some coffee” with his thick creole accent. Funny, I don’t think he ever really left me with an opportunity to object. I didn’t mind either…plus…I was Daddy’s little girl, literally being the youngest out of his 9 children. I felt like a little barista making coffee for my Dad’s approval. I guess you can say I had a great relationship with my Dad. He loved sharing his joy of coffee with me. He would even school me on how other cultures drank their coffee. But honestly, he loved how we had ours in the home…it was like the French and the Italians he would say. 

Coffee was introduced to me way before I was old enough to make it and even thought of wanting to drink it. My dad would have me taste a bit of his by pouring a small amount onto the saucer that would be underneath his cup. In this way it could cool down for me. He would say, “Now try it…well, how do you think it came out?” And guess what, as a youngster I found myself mimicking my dad’s expressions, sometimes it was really good and I would smile, while other times not so much and I would say it needs more sugar. 

Coffee and connection

Suffice to say, coffee truly grew on me. I developed a stronger taste bud over time. I knew nothing about the kick of energy it would give, I just loved how my dad and I had that super great connection. Even my mom appreciated it. I would remember the times where even she would suggest, “Go see if your dad would like you to make him some coffee, he’s been busy all day.” So when it comes to coffee and the nostalgia that I’ve shared, my dad is always with me.