Café Colao

Relationship: Im/migrant

If you come from “El Campo” of Puerto Rico, (the countryside of P.R.) you definitely know the term “Café Colao.” Nowadays it’s not used as much as it used to be 40 or 50 years ago. Back then there was no “Coffee Makers.” You had to get out there and find a way to make it yourself. The way my great grandmother back in Puerto Rico made it is by pouring the desired amount of water in a pot first. Then, she would add the desired amount of coffee ground. After that, turn the stove on. You’re going to want to wait till the water and the coffee grounds mix with each other, meaning that you can’t see the coffee grounds anymore but a black liquid. The whole process shouldn’t take more than ten minutes, depending on how low or high your stove’s on. When the coffee is nice and hot, go ahead and turn the stove off and get yourself a filter, and this is when it becomes very Puerto Rican, because for Café Colao you need to use this certain kind of filter, that almost looks like a bag or a sock rather than your regular filter made out of paper. These are made out of fabric, therefore they’re more long lasting, so you don’t need to throw them away, you just clean them and reuse them. After you’ve strained out the grounds, you’re all set to enjoy your cup of coffee. Nowadays we don’t really use this method, since making coffee with a coffee machine is a lot faster and easier. But we definitely should go back to the olden days once in a while and make it that way, because there’s a noticeable taste difference between the two methods. 

Place(s): Puerto Rico, (Comerío), Lowell, Mass.
Year: 2016

– EB

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant