This is my first time blogging so we’ll see how it goes. I have to thank Juancito for pestering me to guest write – his plan is to get me so hyped up that I will start my own. So, why am I using the name Yaucono for blogging? For all you coffee-philes out there, I hope you will appreciate this story. You may remember the time, years ago, when a strong, delicious cup of coffee was virtually non-existent in the U.S. of A.
Café Yaucono is one of the few coffees grown and produced in Puerto Rico. It is not exported though, only consumed locally. Although who knows, you may find a bodega in New York City that secretly carries Yaucono next to its Ron Don Q.
Anyway, it has a special place in my heart. Back in the 90’s – those old college days – you could not find a cup of decent coffee anywhere in the now infamous town of Durham, North Carolina. I was eighteen when I first left the warm embrace of my family and the morning Yaucono aroma. Although my Puerto Rican jibara naivete is fodder for so many other stories, I would say my first big blooper was to forget to pack Yaucono coffee on that first trip to college. I spent the entire semester barely awake on what Puerto Ricans call “agua de piringa” or water mixed with dirt.
Of course, after four long months of culture shock and Yaucono deprivation, I began packing Yaucono in my suitcases every Christmas, Spring, and Summer break. I emptied out the shelves at Pueblo or Amigo supermarkets as if Puerto Rico was suddenly going to run out of these precious beans.
Years later, when I could find Bustelo, Pilon, and the other Yaucono imitators on the supermarket shelves, I ceased to fill my suitcases with my precious coffee.
And then, as I was looking for links for this blog, since I understand that’s one of my key responsibilities, I found that you can actually get Yaucono online! You see, I am a jibara at heart; I had never looked.
Back to the blog name – Yaucono kept me awake, aware, soothed, and rooted in my culture and values in the midst of the most unsettling experience of my young life – not just the transition to college, but the transition to what was then an extremely alien culture. Hopefully, a Yaucono blog will remind me to approach topics with serenity instead of shock (good luck!).
And yes, there are other more important matters that catch my attention – and passion – pretty regularly. So, the next post will contain some of that chatter.