Days brim with opportunity and, in hopes of seeing the realization of at least half of them, good coffee. Several, if possible. Pair that with great music and you’re set. Music about the aforementioned addictive fuel? Even better.
Here are a few old and new, yet all around excellent, odes to coffee:
"Ojalá Que Llueva Café" - Juan Luis Guerra
Most, if not all, of these songs are about more than meets the eye. This live rendition of Guerra’s classic is more a hopeful wish for fruitfulness and provision in his beloved countryside than it is a desire for coffee to fall from the sky, porque … bueno, that would benefit no one. In addition to the toasty glow it’d bestow upon on us, a follow-up prayer for leche evaporada and azúcar would need to follow. Then, pan con queso … you get the gist. It’d get complicated! This is Guerra at his finest – timeless and inviting. Special shouts to the unforgettable Café Tacuba cover.
"Café" - Eddie Palmieri
This literal, simple love letter to coffee comes to us from 1964. Specifically, Palmieri recalls the kind he grew up on – toasted and strained to perfection. Recalling younger days, he shares a story his abuela told him when he questioned the origins of his favorite drink. “There were big coffee plantations,” she said. “An old man observed them on the mountains, and smelled them from his room thanks to Winter’s breeze.” The rest is history.
"Café y un Pan" - Louie Ramirez
When Ramirez sang “sin café y un pan, bodeguero, me muero,” I felt that. This is the most unapologetic and literal of the batch. The Puerto Rican-American “Quincy Jones of salsa,” is ready for his afternoon cup of java, and certain he needs it before everyone else at the local bodega. Love a good no-frills-coffee lover who knows what he wants.
"Café Con Leche" - Wilfrido Vargas
This one is for the brown girls, sweet girls, and/or the estranged lover. Vargas sings of that caramel skin he can’t live without – his drug of choice, later likening his mystery love to the drink itself saying “Let me burn myself into your skin/Tastes like coffee and milk.” Weird, but OK!
"Café Con Chocolate" - Okills
A new goodie. Keep an eye on this Venezuelan band – their experimental strain of airy rock pop goes down like a smooth cup of cafecito. “Yo sé que el mundo gira aunque no estés/Pero sin ti yo no giró con él,” they sing here. Are these lines about a lover, a mother, or coffee?
All three, of course.