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It's All In The Beans

Who thought about it first? Who took berries from a coffee plant, extracted the seeds, roasted it, ground it and brewed it with water? Who was it that taught mankind this? Today, millions of people consider it a basic necessity of life to have a cup of coffee regularly. Here are some of our coffee stories:

If you’ve wondered where to find the heart of coffee in Kimberley, you need look no further than this little shop. Not only is it known for the place you’ll find the best brew in the Diamond City, you’ll also be made to feel welcome like probably no place else on earth.

When we started visiting Nepal in 2009, instant coffee was the only way to consume a decent amount of caffeine every day. It took a few years before we discovered the coffee shack, perched on a hillside outside Kathmandu. On the slopes beneath we could see the coffee plants which bore the berries that became coffee, and the only seats available were a few rickety wooden benches planted not too far away from the steep drop. But the milk coffee was steaming hot and as fresh as could be, just what we needed on a chilly morning. Since that first day, we have never passed that spot without stopping for coffee. They sell their own packaged coffee beans or ground coffee here, which makes for a nice souvenir.

As you approach Truth Coffee, you may be consulting your map to locate the exact building, but that’s totally unnecessary. There is always a dedicated welcome outside their door, and you won’t miss him, thanks to the steam punk uniform. Step into the coffee shop, and you may be forgiven for thinking you’ve travelled in time. The staff are all dressed in the same fashion and the décor completes the ambience. Of course, the coffee is said to be some of the best you’ll find anywhere on earth, and we agree. Take some of the beans home with you. They’ll even grind it for you if you need.

The first time we had a proper cup of freshly brewed coffee in Kathmandu was at this marvelous little shop in Patan. The shop is located in a cozy corner. Here you can sip coffee procured according to fair trade practices. They serve decent food here as well, and a small gift shop provides guests the opportunity to take something home which has been made by someone from a marginalized background. They also sell fair trade coffee beans, which is an excellent souvenir or gift to take home.

Although some details will probably always be sketchy, we’ve explored the history and abundance of stories about coffee a little bit. Who knew that it was such a closely guarded plant for so many people in history? Who thought what kinds of deception and skulduggery made it possible for this generation to consume coffee so freely?

Ethiopia is of course one of the essential places to visit if you’re interested in immersing yourself in coffee history and culture. If you only have one day in Addis Ababa, there is only one coffee shop you absolutely have to visit. It’s noisy and there are no chairs, but the café macchiato is the reason you visit, isn’t it? The also sell their own roasted beans here, which might just be something you’d like to take home with you.

Two more Cape Town institutions are both a delight to visit. That-Man had his first encounter with cold brew at Rosetta, and at Jason’s the confectionery may delight you even more than the caffeine. Do yourself a favour and take one of their pies to one of the many beaches or promenades in Cape Town for a picnic like no other.

Good quality coffee have become a staple in many homes around the globe. Does it really matter that we don’t know who made it first? The fact is that it’s here to stay, to the delight of many.

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