There are a few moments in life where you make profound discoveries that change your life forever. Although long in the making, these defining moments are what we remember when looking back. One of moments occurred to me six years ago at the 1000 Cups Coffee House in Kampala, Uganda. This discovery for me was not of deep spiritual importance but it did help to refine what became one of my most enduring interests, enjoying a good cup of coffee.
Attracted by a flyer offering a coffee safari, I figured that a place that could introduce you to the coffee process probably makes some pretty good coffee. My boda boda driver (motorcycle taxi) struggled to find the place from my vague description. Stepping through the door I liked the place instantly. It looked like what an artisan coffee shop in Africa should look like, complete with a rustic wooden setting and well arranged sacks of fresh roasted coffee beans.
“I had to go to the place where much of the world’s finest coffee is grown to discover how good coffee should taste.”
I ordered fresh brewed Rwandan coffee and watched as the barista ground the coffee to prepare it. Deciding to try the coffee first without milk and sugar, I took a sip and that was the moment of discovery. I had read an article before this stating that coffee was supposed to be sweet and not bitter. I found it hard to believe because all of the coffee I had tried was bitter and needed a little help to make it more drinkable. This cup of Rwandan coffee tasted and cleaner than I had every sipped. I had to go to the place where much of the world’s finest coffee is grown to discover how good coffee should taste.
Every time I am in Kampala I take groups of people back to 1000 Cups. It was a great pleasure to take my sister, also an avid coffee lover, to this special place on our most recent trip. Having arrived the day before, there was no better way to introduce her to the delights of East African coffee. I enjoyed a Ugandan Arabica while she sipped a robusta. We chatted about our hopes for the trip and where we found ourselves in life. 1000 Cups Coffee House was a delightful place to start our adventure together in East Africa.