Lo Que Pica el Gallo

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.

About Lyanis

I'm always a little skeptical about filling out an "About Me" section. I'm supposed to tell you about who I am, when really, as wordy as I tend to be, no one can really get to know someone from a box confined to a certain number of characters. You see, I'm a bit complicated. I don't like to admit it, partially because I like the simple things in life but truth is, we're all complicated and none of us come with instructions on how to decode one another. So in the mean time, to better understand me for me, I'll give you the basics: I'm a hometown Miami girl born to Cuban parents. I'm the only girl of 4 children still living at home with mom and dad while I work and study in hopes that one day, all this writing pays off and...well... literally pays off. I'm working on getting my Bachelor's degree in English with a minor in Communications. I tried reaching for my roots and focusing in on Spanish, pero que 'va, I like Cuban Spanish and Spanglish way better than the Spanish the teach in college. Both my parents have instilled the importance of family and togetherness in me and my siblings. For that, I'm thankful. Although at times my house resembles una casa de locos, it is that very essence that makes me a little bit more of who I am, and provides me with the material I write about here. I have big dreams for myself as well as for Lo Que Pica El Gallo. This is just the beginning of a long journey and I sure do hope you stick around to see where it takes us.

5 comments on “Cafecito

  1. lolalauren
    July 8, 2010

    If you can’t make Cuban Coffee you can’t marry a Cuban man!

  2. luly0104
    July 9, 2010

    Taught you well. I am proud!

  3. Mamiriki looking for a papiriki
    July 9, 2010

    entonces estoy jodiaaaaa!

    what do they drink in Germany? and I can’t make American coffee either. Ay mama!

    • Lyanis
      July 10, 2010

      Mamiriki,if you can cook, you may get away with not being able to make cuban coffee, that is, if you plan to marry a cuban. i’m not sure what they drink in germany. hah.

      Welcome to our blog. How did you hear of it?

  4. Isis Mendez
    July 10, 2010

    You don’t have to loose the wrist motion, or the first few drops of el nectar negro de los dioses blancos, if you still do it by hand instead of using the frother, you keep the old cuban touch. Keep up the good work I love the way you write. Your uncle says if you know what “al cantío de un gallo” means. One more cuban expression for your reportaire. ( I hope I wrote that right). Estas quema!!!!

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This entry was posted on July 8, 2010 by in Cuban habits and tagged , , , .

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