My parents drink coffee like woodpeckers peck––quickly and incessantly. There’s always a pot, hot and ready, in our kitchen. My sister is a heavy coffee drinker, too; and she introduced me to the “Coffee Culture” of Portland. My parents are old fashioned percolator/cowboy-coffee people; but my sister is an espresso aficionado. She loves going on “coffee hops,” visiting all the new roasteries around town, exploring every new blend, every tasting note, every brew method and nuance. I fell in love with coffee at the fault of my family, and have been detrimentally in love with it since high school. Vicky gave me a whole new experience with it, too; and that is something that is hard to come by. Half the time, now, when I visit a new place, try a young roaster’s beans, etc.––I’m usually comparing it to all the perfect cups I’ve had, or all the more aesthetic, more appealing, more interesting atmospheres in which I’ve enjoyed coffee. But Greek coffee is new, and it’s also ancient. It’s simple, and it’s exciting.
Vicky actually taught me how to make it a few weeks before we learned it in class. She took me behind the bar in the dining room one day before classes had started, and stood over that little propane flame, stirred the sugar and the two tablespoons––exacted from years of perfection––of coffee into the pot and watched the rumbling little bubbles do their work. She told me about the quaint little traditions and quirky little stories that are attached to the air bubbles and the size of the rising foam. She told me about her grandfather, who had perfected his method long before she was born and had been loving it regularly ever since then––and I thought about my dad is his brown pleather throne, his cup of coffee and the misty sunrise. I thought about my best friend Michael who is trying to break into the café business. I thought about the instant coffee I’ve shared with my uncle in the middle of the Cascades––the only warm thing about January in Oregon––and I relished all the wonderful different experiences I’ve had with coffee. I catalogued Vicky, her lovely passion for the beverage and her snarky dependance on it, alongside my father and my uncle and my brother; and I added one more layer of appreciation of and for the Greek culture.
Written by Justin Duyao [currently attending HUG]
For more information about HUG visit our website: www.harding.edu/international