Roosters don’t crow when the sun comes up; they crow whenever the heck they want to. So, when my alarm goes off just after dawn, I’ve already been half awake for an hour. I throw on some clothes, put my hair in a pony tail, and meet my friends outside. We joke as we run out to the dirt road, and coast through the next village over, before ascending a hill, which is really more like a mountain, so maybe it should be called a mill or a hountain. Regardless, all I can think about as I climb to the top is breakfast. The exhilaration upon racing back down to the valley speeds me home and to the morning’s first cup of coffee.
This isn’t just a regular cup of joe. This is Honduran coffee. The beans are grown locally, in a country whose climate is ideal for its production. It’s ground and brewed in a way that makes it thicker, almost like an espresso but less concentrated. When I’ve got a long day ahead of me, it’s like my life blood.
That’s true no matter whether I’m doing volunteer work in Honduras, or stuck inside on a snowy day in Kentuckiana. I might be a little biased because after my recent trip to Honduras, my third, I’m more in love with the country than ever, but coffee there is just good. Along with sugar, which I’ve tasted straight in the cane, it’s the country’s top export.
After my first trip to Honduras, I brought back coffee beans for my family, and they have requested it again each visit. Here in the U.S. it’s difficult but not impossible to find a good Honduran bean. Trader Joe’s offers a decent organic, fair trade option, but I’ve also seen it at Costco, in a Costco-size bag.
I am a firm believer in the Proustian idea that the taste of food conjures memory, so until the next time I’m enjoying my cafecito at a Honduran breakfast table, I’ll be savoring the beans I brought back and smiling over fond memories.