10 Mar

Today's coffee break is taking place at Magnificat Coffee Shop & Restaurant, on KG 11 Avenue. After running errands around the district of Gasabo for a couple of hours, I am spending some time here catching up with behind-the-scenes work while savoring my favorite aromatic beverages.

Magnificat Coffee Shop and Restaurant is relatively new. Kimironko Sector, in which the artistically designed restaurant is found, is attracting urban dwellers with disposable incomes. As a result, new businesses are sprouting up all over the place. The new establishments are set up to meet the lofty standards of their discerning clientele.  

Over the past few years, I have been featuring coffee outlets in this segment. Starting next month, the stories will be repackaged to create monthly issues of the proposed Coffee Break Magazine. 

While coffee is traditionally known as an export crop, its consumption is on the rise in Africa. The number of newly established coffee bars around the continent is a testament to this trajectory.  

Coffee plants are thought to be native to the Ethiopian plateau region known as Kefa. The discovery of the iconic crop is estimated to have taken place in 850 AD. Legend has it that an Ethiopian goatherd, namely Kaldi, was puzzled by the strange antics of his flock. Out of curiosity, he sampled the berries of the evergreen bush on which his goats were feeding. When the caffeine kicked in, he was delighted to share the news of the exhilaration. The rest is history.  

Today, the major coffee-growing regions are Africa, South America and Asia. Each region produces distinct varieties with unique flavors. More than 2 billion cups are consumed globally on a daily basis. Today, one of those billions of cups has helped me to stay alert while crafting this piece.