On our first morning in Puerto Rico, we wandered down Ashford Street from our hotel. This was really our first glimpse of Puerto Rico since we’d arrived at midnight the night before. We were getting ready for our tours to the rainforest and mine didn’t pick us up at our hotel, so we had to meet at the much larger Marriott a mile down the road. On the way, we hoped to find a breakfast spot, or at least a Starbucks so that we could get coffee. We were heading into the tourist area (as evidenced by all the police on patrol, even at 7am) so I felt confident we’d find a Starbucks.
We saw the familiar logo and stepped up to the door, only to find it closed! I must say, I was a little flabbergasted that Starbucks wasn’t open at 7:15am, but we noticed that Pinky’s, the diner next door was open, so we walked in.
Thank goodness Starbucks was closed!
Pinky’s turned out to be one of our favorite restaurants. It only had a few tables inside and a few more outside, but locals came in and out in a steady stream, many of them in scrubs on their way to work at the hospital.
First things first, we ordered coffee. The server brought us cups of frothy coffee with a head of steamed cream. It was delicious just like that, but she wasn’t done. She set down a small green Tupperware container of sugar. Brown sugar. She urged us to add it to our coffee, so we did, despite the fact that none of us usually put sugar in our coffee. But when in PR…
It was heavenly!
It changed the flavor so much. We couldn’t get over it. We drank a few cups there with our wonderful breakfast of mallorca sandwiches: ham, egg, and cheese on sweet bread dusted with powdered sugar. Later, we ordered coffee at other places and received the same creamy espresso with our choice of sugar: brown or white. Brown, of course! Defintely brown.
New brown-sugar coffee fiends were born. We bought several pounds of coffee to bring back with us to the States, thinking that we’ll get out the old espresso machines we used back in the 90’s and brew up some of our wonderful Puerto Rican coffee and then add a dose of brown sugar to flavor. But you know it won’t taste the same. We always try to recapture the flavors of our trips, but it never really works. These things never do.
Have you had coffee with brown sugar?