In East Africa, heading south to Madagascar through Ethiopia, Kenya (Nairobi), and Tanzania (Kilimanjaro, Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar) before heading north to Morocco for a 13 city tour.
While in Addis Ababa, I piked up some elegant local clothing, experienced the most amazing Cappacino in my life, mingled with some locals, met a journalist with an amazing life story, then headed out in search of the unroasted.
Six hours after arriving another adventure begins. I’m heading to a plantation that is rumored to produce some very fine beans. Its a trek into the countryside as the quality of roads begins to diminish every ten minutes. It’s hot and balmy here, the soil moist and the canopy lush and green with something to eat everywhere.
Calm and peaceful farming communities with decent acreage. Locals working to harvest the daily yield. Vines bursting with cocao, coffee, vanilla, cinnamon and much more.
I shaved a medium sized bundle of cinnamon off this tree. My luggage is starting to smell alive with the coffee, chocolate and cinnamon. Note to self, wrap cinnamon in plastic when packing with clothing. Smells good though.
Not ripe yet, but perhaps these guys will end up in your chocolate bar one day. These trees are checked daily all ripe bounties are picked when ready.
In the end, I returned from Africa with coffee from eleven different harvests spanning eight countries. Some roasted, some raw green, weighing in at ten kilos. The roasted varieties are producing aromas of chocolate, not, peanut butter, orange, mint, various fruits and more. After roasting the raw beans, I have a total of 14 different flavors to sample and share with friends. I take the beans to the sweet, sugar brewing phase of the roast and stop at the first crack, producing a more flavorful, authentic coffee flavor, much lighter in taste than any black french roast will ever produce.