October 19, 2016 just became a very important date. It was the day that Jeff had his first cup of coffee. That’s right. In 29 years, the man has NEVER had a cup of coffee.
Part of our day trip to Marangu included a visit to Babu Coffee Plantation. Aka Mr. Babu’s 3-acre yard covered with Arabic coffee plants. Get ready for some FRESH coffee:
We were first greeted by a baby goat that had been born that morning!
First Babu showed us his coffee plants. The plants grow best in shade, so they were all located underneath banana trees. He told us that there are 7 varieties of banana in Tanzania. Some are used for making the local banana beer and wine. Some are used for cooking and others are for eating the fruit raw.
Babu picked some red (ripe) coffee beans and then showed us how he separates the fruit from the bean. After the bean is removed from the fruit, it is washed and then dried for 3 weeks.
(Fast forward 3 weeks…) Once the beans are dried, the outer shell needs to be removed from the bean. This can be done by hand with a giant mortar and pestle. After the shell is removed, we are ready to roast the beans!
Babu started a fire and we roasted the beans on the spot! After they turned a dark brown color and made a sound over the fire similar to popping popcorn, we were ready to grind the beans.
We returned to the mortar and pestle. Apparently, singing is necessary!
The translation from Swahili to English is something along the lines of ‘Grind, Grind, Grind, and Drink the Coffee.’ Sounds better in Swahili!
The grounds were so fresh we even ate a little bit mixed with sugar- yum! Then Babu asked us how strong we liked our coffee. I took one for the team and told him, ‘very strong!’ He added all of the grounds to a small pot of water over the fire. Our coffee now looked like chocolate pudding.
After it boiled, we were served in cups. I am not an avid coffee drinker anymore, but now I will always appreciate all of the work that goes into making it. I was also a little wary, because when we roasted the beans over the fire they smelled a little burnt. I was expecting to drink something along the lines of motor oil- especially since the liquid was so thick.
This was hands down the best cup of coffee I have ever had.
Jeff thought so too! Although he didn’t have anything to compare it to, he enjoyed it!!!!!
This may have been Jeff’s first cup of Joe, and unfortunately, I think we ruined him for life. This first cup was just too good. Nothing will compare.