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  • Writer's pictureClaudia Grobe

The Smell of freshly brewed Coffee

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

Every coffee lover is already thinking about how to get another, fresh cup of coffee right now... Everyone knows the seductive smell! And yes, here in Europe, the coffee beans arrive conveniently in small bags - as whole beans or already ground. Whatever suits us best. And that's great. But where does our coffee actually come from? On my last trip to Tanzania I was allowed to embark on the long journey of coffee.

Kilimanjaro coffee hasn't been around that long. It was not until the 19th century that the British colonialists brought the first plants from Ethiopia to Tanzania. The Chagga, who live in the region, grow the coffee here. They plant it next to banana trees. The tall banana trees with the large leaves offer the small coffee trees shade from the often harsh East African sun.

Incidentally, I saw my first chameleons here in the plantations. Totally fascinating little beings...


And now to the process of coffee brewing - the African way:

The small coffee beans are picked from the trees by hand. The shell is then removed. We tried it manually. It works - but takes half an eternity and the fingernails are also ruined afterwards. But actually there is a hand-spun grinder. And that's how it goes. The berries without the shell are surrounded by a kind of slime and are therefore washed first. They are then dried on large, hand-woven, flat baskets. And that takes about 6 to 8 weeks.

After 8 weeks we travelled back to the coffee farm to look at the dried beans. Eh, no. Of course, our guide had already prepared a large bowl of sun-dried beans for us. These are now placed in a large mortar and then pounded. Stamped for a long time. Until the pods have separated from the core. I tried it too. And yes, you can cancel the fitness studio subscription if you do this job almost every day. It's pretty exhausting and sweaty. And the Chagga? They dance and sing - just to make the work a little easier.

What is created is then spread out on a board and gently thrown into the air. This is how the light skins separate from the beans. Then it's time for the roasting. The kettle is heated on a small fire. A few stories and songs later, the beans appear dark brown and shiny. The way we Europeans like them.

At home we have a machine for this, here the beans are then ground by hand. And then finally, the well-known fragrant vapor rises out of the coffee pot. We can enjoy our own made cup of coffee. We probably more than deserved that.

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