Una Tacita De Café
Benarroch, October 2021
The title of my series “Una Tacita De Café” roughly translates to a cup of coffee. However, I say roughly because it doesn’t just mean “a cup of coffee”; it runs deeper than that.
The actual word for cup in Spanish is “tasa”. In Colombia, specifically Medellin, where my family is from, the “-ita” at the end of a noun is seen, in some ways, as a term of endearment. It is meant to make a word more gentle and loving. My portfolio portrays how an ordinary cup of black coffee, through the eye of my lens, can become a celebration.
As a high school student, I wake up at 6 AM every morning and begin the coffee-making process. Each morning I repeat the same cycle. I grab the coffee beans and begin my ritual, one which I hold a deep appreciation for.
This ritual isn’t new to me. I witnessed my mom perform it first every day for as long as I can remember, just as she did from her mom. As a 100% Colombian, it was normal, in fact, expected, that I would soon love black coffee, as it practically runs through my veins and all those before me.
Furthermore, it is the physical and emotional act of making my pure coffee that appeals to me even more so than drinking it. Performing each step in the process undoubtedly constitutes the most peaceful moments of my day. It grants me a moment of being present in my life; a moment of absolute stillness. I used to view making my coffee each morning as a chore; just another reason I had to wake up earlier for as if I didn’t already wake up early enough for school. However, as my days became busier, and the moments to myself lessened, I found myself deeply appreciating this familiar daily ritual.
With this body of work, I want the viewer to “wake up and smell the coffee”; to appreciate the simple moments in life no matter how insignificant they may appear. How ironic is it that I find calming in what most of society finds energizing!
In creating my portfolio, I printed each image and individually soaked them in coffee for different amounts of time, ranging from 5 minutes to 40 hours. My goal was to create various tints of sepia/ textured paper to resemble that familiar early morning light. I also wanted the tones to represent different strengths of coffee.
The feeling I get while making my morning coffee is not dissimilar to that of making photographs. I find myself meditative and creative when in each space. Both immediately put me in the zone, feeling immersed, focused, and unshakeable. I am grateful for both instances in my life where nothing else seems to matter.