Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Barista Diaries

Day Seventeen

We have gone into hiding in the jungle. Government soldiers came to the village following the scent of our espresso maker. Maria told them it was for steaming laundry and the fools believed her. Carlos and I hid near an ant’s nest, brewing what was left of the chicory. Maria later joined us. We are guerillas now.

Day Thirty Two

The soldiers use helicopters to seek us out but we are not found. We make Café Americanos to spite them and hope that our Yanqui friends come to our aid. Juan has come to join what can now only be called a small troupe of barista revolutionaries. At night, Maria and I lie beneath the stars, dreaming of days when we sipped mocha lattes on the sidewalks of the capital. It is all so far away now. Each day we hear stories of weak, percolated coffee being served without excuse to our poor, oppressed people. We talk of bringing change. Then Carlos becomes jittery as he has drank three cups already and the sun is not yet over the tips of the trees.

Day Sixty Seven

The bastards! They scald milk and dare to pour it into weak, watery brew that they call coffee! There are no thermometers, they steam until the froth slops over their pitchers it dirty, lazy waves. They do not wipe their steaming nozzles. They are pigs, these so called government baristas. Our people are docile, tired and quiet. There is no caffeine.
Estevan has joined what can only be called a brigade now. We still hide in the jungle but the people of the villages smuggle beans out to us. We are stocking. We build caves and tunnels in which we hide our tools of rebellion. Burr grinders, run only during the rains to hide the sound. Grounds that we pack with cocaine so that the dogs do not smell them. Maria and I talk of one day going back to the capital, brewing in full view of the presidential palace. Maybe some day. Maybe.

Day One Hundred Ninety Nine

The cursed Yanquis have betrayed us! We have news from the capital of a siete-once that sells what they call coffee but is just hot water shown a picture of a bean. This is an outrage! We prayed so many nights that the Americanos would come to liberate us, pour this government swill into the river as they once did. Now we are betrayed. We can no longer look to el norte for favor. We must take the fight into our own hands. We must become revolutionaries!

Day Two Hundred Twelve

We have moved deeper into the jungle. We are training now. Carlos can force a single shot in eighteen seconds and reload in three. He tamps ground beans nightly, turns them out of the filters and tamps them again. He tells me that he hopes to draw a double under fire and still offer a single flavor shot, no matter how thick the air is with lead and touristas seeking an afternoon cappuccino. Maria steals our milk. You must steam until your hands are blistered, she tells us. Our people demand lattes worthy of their toils. The government expects them to work in the fields, the factories, the shipyards and come home to espresso without even lemon for zest. The revolution (the word is first on her lips but none of us denies it) will bring back their dignity, their pride and their coffee. Long live the revolution. A Bolivian Marxist has joined our band. Che hopes one day to have a soccer arena named after him. Che Stadium, named after the famed Bolivian revolutionary: Che Stadium, he tells us over and over and over again until Maria hits him with a brew pot. This renders him unconscious and gives us momentary peace.

Day Four Hundred

There is discontent in the streets. The Americanos have opened a Starbucks and now they fight amongst each other. There are cracks in their wall through which we may now crawl. If we can get the airtight containers of Arabica through. Soldiers are everywhere…

Day Six Hundred Twelve

Dr. Santiago, who found that our water was three grains too hard for optimal oil release at two hundred five degrees and carbon filtered the stream for optimum brew strength has been arrested. He was in the capital and soldiers took him away. We think he is in the central prison. Maria prays nightly that his fate is not the same as the thousands of young men and women of our country. The ones who’s mothers dance daily for them in the market square. They are called “Los Decaffeinistas” We weep for them. This revolution must come and soon.

Day Nine Hundred Forty

We approach the capital. There is disarray and anarchy everywhere. The government soldiers are retreating, falling back. There is talk that, as we approach, they shed their uniforms and claim they have always been tea merchants. They can no longer assure biscotti as we disrupt their supplies each day. We have emerged from the jungle and brew in the market squares of villages in the provinces without fear of attack. Victory is ours! The revolution is here and Maria and I lie in empty governor’s mansions nightly planning for our first steaming cup in the presidential palace. Our people will know justice, honor, and an appropriately blended Café Mocha. Viva El Caffeinistas! Bunny On!

1 Comments:

Blogger cog said...

too funny, bunny.

12:54 AM  

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