Monday, August 14, 2006

Un Chinito gave me a secret... UPDATE

El Chino Cubano, much like the Chinese in general, are known for their medicines, their spices and their secrets. Perhaps it's a stereotype that dates back to the times of the silk road and Marco Polo, or perhaps it is a truth that our western culture still has more to learn from the east. Regardless of one's perception, when we have a back pain it's that Crema China (tiger balm) that we look for. If there's problems with weight or digestion we look for that Te Chino (that green box with the three women) to alleviate our ills. And if there is problems with sex... well... they have a herb for that too.

Not too long ago, un Chinito, a chinese cuban, and I were having a short conversation on Cuban coffee. I was curious to see how a predominatly tea culture, like the Chinese, adapted themselves to Cuban Coffee. Well, he said he couldn't speak for all Chinese Cubans, but when it came to Cafe he had a little secret: mix a shot of Cuban Coffee with a shot of Ginseng extract.

Whoa, it sounds like a heart attack in the making, right?

Well, I bought my extract at the gas station and I was saving it for a day that I knew was going to be long -a day much like today.

Early this morning I made a colada like normal. In a double size tacita (double espresso cup) I added one shot of Cafe and the extract. I drank it. The Ginseng gave a very different, but still pleasant, flavor to the Cafe.

All I have to say is WOW tremendo pick me up. I'm unbelievablyy wired for the whole day, which is good since I'm super busy as it is today.

I don't recommend to do this on a daily basis, nor do I recommend it if you have heart problems. However, if there is ever a day that is going to be long, then I seriously recommend trying it.

The boost is quite unbelievable.

Update: CB also has a secret:
[The Chinese Cubans] will combine the sugar, the rice wine, and the ginseng in a little pot over a very low fire, until it got syrupy. Then they will pour the coffee as always, put some of the mixture in it and stir....


It's called Cafe Chino, and yeah... I'm trying it tomorrow!

6 comments:

AmandaDufau said...

You realize you have a serious problem when it comes to Cafe Cubano right? I wonder if there's a program for that: Cafecito-drinkers' anonymous or something of the sort. ;-)

Charlie Bravo said...

Hey, Songuacassal!
He missed something in the recipe.... Honey instead of sugar, or at least azucar prieta (they have a lot of that in China) ginseng, and rice wine.
It was called a cafe chino.
I used to go to the "tren de lavado chino" with my grandfather, o a la "bodega del chino". They will combine the sugar, the rice wine, and the ginseng in a little pot over a very low fire, until it got syrupy. Then they will pour the coffee as always, put some of the mixture in it and stir....
Have you tried Vietnamese coffee?

Songuacassal said...

CB
Have I had Vietnamese coffee? Of course with leche condensada y todo! And I have two of those little makers (I think they are called Cafe Fin's).

As for Cafe Chino. CB you are a coffee genius or encyclopedia -I'm not quite sure yet. I will try it with honey and rice wine (saki right?) tomorrow.

Charlie Bravo said...

Song, I will have to sit and write my coffee book!
I am sure you won't be disappointed with el Cafe Chino.
The Vietnamese coffee is a killer. I love it. Specially the "ice" version of it. Thanks for the grossly undeserved complements!
Please let us know how good el Cafe Chino came out.
(there's Chinese rice wine, raspier than sake, there's sake, and there's what's sold in Asian markets as "rice cooking wine". Use either the Chinese rice wine or the Japanese sake, never the other thing, because it has some vinegary qualities)

Songuacassal said...

CB let me know... I'll definitely buy it! I'm buying the Sake tomorrow.

Charlie Bravo said...

Now you will start speaking Mandarin at any given time!