Before I post my photos from "Paradise Lost" coffee farm, I would like to encourage you ro watch this short visualisation which explains in very simple terms major processes involved in coffee production. For a beginner like myself it was a good material so I hope you find it useful too.
Entries in coffee processing (2)
As you can guess I am feeling like the luckiest person in the world - I have managed to dedicate a day of my time in Nairobi to visiting a coffee farm called "Paradise Lost" and learn about the entire process of coffee growing, picking, processing and finally roasting! I am uploading my photos gradually already thinking about going back! What an amazing trip! Before I describe by coffee tour though, I would like to make a few points on my coffee adventures in Kenyan capitol.
Upon arrival to our hotel, Pride Inn Raphta Road, I headed towards the restaurant only to discover that when ordering coffee I need to count of 30 min waiting time and...pack of Nescafe+jug of boiling water. You should see my friend's face when she saw my reaction - I have to admit that I was prepared for bad quality coffee in a country exporting its roasted "gold" elsewhere but this was a bit...more surprising. I did my best not to show my astonishment to the waitress who was extremely kind!
Later on Nescafe packets became our reality. I have to admit though that I was fortunate enough to admit that I blog about coffee and occasionally receive special treatment. Actually, the more often I visited the restaurant (and ordered coffee after 8PM too) I started received freshly brewed coffee. Also to my amusement the size of my little coffee kettle was growing from one day to another but its cost decreased! I must have been a good guest;)
Here I would also like to point out that the service was a bit frantic occasionally, but most of the time really, really helpful! There was one morning when I had to prepare the barcamp schedule for open sessions and had to abandon my breakfast brew - when I got back to my table to rest and enjoy it it was already cold. I was not allowed to pay for it! I was offered a double jug of freshly made coffee instead.
On the first day of my stay in Nairobi I have joined Global Voices team in their trip to Masai Market (market moving from one place to another on a weekly basis, a great opportunity to purchase hand made souvenirs). On the way there we have stopped to exchange cash and discovered Java House - a local chain of coffee houses pretty much working on the same basis as Starbucks. It was then that I had the opportunity to spot the first coffee tree in its original climate and enjoy a proper cuppa too! I loved it and I was really annoyed to discover on the 3rd day of our conference that there was a Java House branch just down the road from our hotel!
So as you can see finding a good cup of coffee might not be easy in Nairobi, but is possible. You will find Java House at the airport too, so do try it out. If you can I also suggest experimenting with local pastry usually consumed with coffee - I have to admit I am not sure what the local name of it is. It is usually served at coffee time, looks like a triangle version of a doughnut and tastes a bit similar (pastry something between a pancake and doughnut I would say), though its a bit drier and more pleasant to my personal taste;)
If you are in town and happen to be around Kasawe restaurant or central TV station building walk around and ask for "pawe" (in swahili "medicine"). It's basically a tea made to heal all your conditions and keep you healthy. It's served with a huge portion of honey and ginger - taste so strong it actually burns your mouth. Mine was also served with lemon grass and...I loved it!