I’ve always loved the scent of freshly brewed coffee in the morning and how the slightly bitter taste blends with milk and a dash of vanilla. But the coffee experience in Venezuela has changed over the years, and sometimes I miss how it was back then. The taste of good coffee in local coffee recipes is now like the holy grail for those like me. It makes me wonder if people in other countries really appreciate what they have.
So, let me give you an international coffee experience in a Latin American country plagued by political warfare and a terrible economic crisis to see how the experience of coffee remains an integral part of our culture.
Coffee shops are much more than coffee
I think everyone agrees, regardless of their country, that coffee shops go beyond coffee. You’re not only buying a cup of coffee. You’re actually buying an experience in the coffee shop. A cute chair and table, a blackboard where you can leave your print, relaxing music, and the aroma of coffee all over the place. Just thinking about it makes me want to go.
But the experience of coffee shops in Venezuela is not something you can have every day. We don’t have big chains like Starbucks. I haven’t seen one of those in my country. Coffee shops here are local places with their own decoration, style, and local coffee recipes. One of my favorites is called “Los Jardines de Dalia,” roughly translated as “Dalia’s garden.” It is like a very large open space with flower pots everywhere and a lot of sunshine. Since we don’t have seasons and I live in the mountains, the weather is chill all year long. The place is attended by the owner, Dalia, and her family.
About prices, well. That’s the main problem with the coffee experience in Venezuela. Everything is overpriced, and regular people can’t go to a coffee shop very often. It’s a luxury for people with the average job, and I’ve only been there once in the last year. In a normal era without coronavirus, it would be no more than three times a year.
Still, I always see a few people in this place every time I come. So, I guess we always save money for what they really like despite the economic crisis. They usually hold business meetings here; most people are well-dressed and probably talking about money. As for myself, I prefer to enjoy coffee shops with one or two friends.
Local coffee recipes and what coffee feels like in Venezuela
Coffee shops offer an enjoyable moment for regular people, but the central coffee experience in Venezuela is found at home. One of the best coffee brands in Venezuela is known as “Fama de América,” which is roughly translated as “America’s reputation.” But it is now difficult to find the brand of coffee you prefer in my country. I need to buy whatever I see in the market, and it is sometimes not good at all. So, I treasure coffee when I find an acceptable brand.
Coffee recipes in Venezuela are no different from other countries. Local coffee recipes are similar to latte without the foam, and we call it “café con leche.” But what is different here is the way we consume black coffee. We’re not used to big mugs for black coffee. So, if you visit Venezuela and have an international coffee experience here, you will be shocked when we offer black coffee in a tiny cup. That’s because sipping coffee is a real delicacy here, and we enjoy every bit.
While sipping on my small cup of black coffee and enjoying the scent, experiencing coffee around the world is one of my dreams.