Dec 10, 2017

Coffee Photos

Yesterday I went to the Photos program on my almost ancient iMac computer, (going on 10 years), and what should have taken 10 minutes, turned into almost 2 hours of finding all my coffee photos.  

Why yesterday, there's no rhyme or reason. I've always had the idea of creating a coffee table book about coffee, so many memories and stories. 

I love coffee. 

For the record the photo I was looking for yesterday had nothing to do with coffee.  My mind is all over the place, one of the many wonderful consequences of being retired and having time ! 

I love coffee so much that sometimes before falling asleep, I'm thinking ahead to the next day knowing that my morning routine involves coffee. Nothing fancy, always 2 cups.  Here are a few of my favorite coffee photos. 


My earliest memories of drinking coffee, college. I drank 4 or 5 cups a day, throughout the day, not because I liked it, because I need to stay awake working on school projects, reading and yes typing my papers. That was 40 years ago, I was a freshman at Redlands University in 1997 and graduated from California State University at Northridge in 1981.  Throughout all the years I was in Northridge I had a white ceramic novelty coffee mug, inside the bottom of the mug, was a small green frog. So everytime I finished a cup, I got to see the green frog, probably the size of a jelly bean.  And thanks to the internet, I found the exact mug I had.  I may have to get one ! 



I started to enjoy coffee very much when I lived with my brother Carlos and his wife, Michele, when I first went to Atlanta on a special project for Cox in 1996. I was the Cox Corporate office for nine months working on a special project to launch a new product, high speed data, yes internet service.  Carlos had this amazing Italian cappuccino machine with an eagle at the top. He would hand press the steam with the big lever on the machine, each cappuccino was individually made.  And they were delicious, it was a treat every morning.  I love the strong taste of the coffee and the milk froth was like a mini dessert, everytime.  That machine lasted a long time for Carlos, eventually he wore it out and now has a Ferrari type machine where you press a button and the machine does everything, including frothing the milk.  All you have to do as machine operator is keep the machine clean, empty the coffee grinds and ensure the water tank and the area where the beans are held in the machine is full.  


Prior to the wonderful introduction to cappuccino's at my brother's in Atlanta, there is an earlier memory, coffee on Varig Airlines flights from Los Angeles to Panama. OH MY !!!! Again thanks to the internet and collectors, the coffee cups are for sale on eBay. 

When we moved from Panama to Barstow, for the first 8 to 10 years I went to Panama every year to visit my Arosemena Grandparents, Grandma Chichi and Abuelo Rogelio. And we enjoyed a direct flight on Varig Airlines, from Los Angeles International or LAX to Panama. The flight was actually a 747 that flew from Sao Paulo Brazil, to Panama, to Los Angeles, to Tokyo and back.  We would get on the LAX TO PTY leg, and it was a wonderful experience, when flying was a indeed a wonderful experience. 

Imagine in coach, yes in the coach cabin, prior to making the final decent into the Panama Tocumen Airport, you got a tiny cup of Brazilian coffee. The coffee was thick, very dark and rich and oh so tasty. And that tiny cup of coffee was real deal. I remember the few sips of that coffee would give me a jolt of energy that would last the entire day. I would always arrive at my Grandparents finca, extra excited and ready to go. I loved the coffee on Varig, it was a treat.  And we indeed got the coffee in coach in real ceramic cups with saucers and the tiny spoon, it was a treat for sure. 


The cup of coffee below, actually a cappuccino is from the Mon Ami Gabbi restaurant at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. When I ordered the coffee I had no idea it would be this big, it was served in bowl, like a soup bowl. 


This cappuccino was almost perfect. It's from Cafe Coca Cola, an old establishment in Panama in the old, old part of the city where commerce, shopping and malls was first established. The cafe is still going strong, I was there a few years ago with my niece and nephews. 


One of the things I loved most about the coffee prepared by Ceci, it was a constant. I knew everyday I would begin my day with Ceci in her outdoor kitchen with coffee and the best scrambled eggs in all of Ghana. The coffee was black, no sugar, I always had two cups.  I will always always be thankful to Ceci for taking such good care of me when I stayed in the Kissemah compound.  


Coffee and Grandma JoAnn's French Toast in Brooklyn New York. And the owner of the Airbnb place we stayed at, she brought us a box that day of the most amazing donuts. It was a great breakfast for sure.  


The best cup of coffee, or cappuccino I've ever had, the one pictured above, served at Cafe Unidos in Panama in the Coco del Mar location.  I was there in July of this year, JoAnn and I went early on a Sunday morning. I remember the surprise, the delight, the taste so different, almost with floral like qualities. Later I learned the freshly roasted, "La Harpia" blend was a combination of beans from several growers in Panama. I went back 2 days later to confirm that it was indeed superb coffee and the 2nd time, the magnificent flavor was just as I had remembered.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Thanks JoAnn. 


The place setting in this photo, my parents dishes, now in the home of Rogelio and Maria Elena in Panama. (My older brother and his wife).  I dont know the pattern name, it's so beautiful and brings back so many memories  What a treat to be seated at this table in Roger and Mari's house in Panama, not only is the place setting beautiful, the food is always delicious and the company grand ! ! 


Photo by JoAnn C. Arosemena 

JoAnn took this photo, it was included in one of her photography portfolios. I dont recall where the photo was taken, I will ask.  Tin coffee cup is sitting on the front seat of an old pick up truck. 


Yes, Maddie and Morgan get cappuccino milk foam, one of their favorite treats.  It was an extra cold morning in Atlanta. 


Carlos, Roger, (Dad), Roger (Son), Tobias 
Houston, Texas / January 2017 


Almost everyday when Toby is getting ready to go to work, he will send me a text Good Morning message with a photo of his coffee for the morning.  Looks good !  Love you Toby ! 


Coffee served at the Louis Suites Hotel in Buenos Aires Argentina. 



Cappuccino Considerations, by Elena. Arosemena