I didn´t realize how addicted I was to coffee until I was suddenly restricted to a diet of instant Nescafe. Chileans just don´t get the coffee thing, at all. My much-hyped visit to the Dunkin´ Donuts in Santiago revealed an establishment suspiciously devoid of real coffee beans and that signature Dunkin´aroma. Here in Coyhaique, there are a few establishments that have "espresso," but it tastes nothing like coffee and the caffeine buzz is negligible. Needless to say, the arrival of a pound of New England ground coffee and a single cup filter from my parents has been a major transformative event in my life. (Thanks guys!!) My host family watched in awe as I poured hot water into the filter and filled the house with that seductive smell. They still shy away from trying it, however. The signature drink in my house is black tea with about five spoonfuls of sugar. Not a custom I plan on picking up.
After a long day at school I sometimes sit at the table smelling the coffee grinds. Oh, what a smell! Tonight, I think I finally mastered the single cup brew, and I officially report that it was the best cup of coffee I have ever had.