African coffee

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Oct 24th, 2004, 10:04 AM
  #1
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African coffee

After reading that several of you would have taken a travel mug filled with coffee for early morning safaries, I wonder about the quality of coffee there. I read in one travel book that it's not that great, especially for the Starbucks/gourmet coffee house generation that I am apart of...Should I bring my own or should I expect it to be along the same lines as European coffee?
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Oct 24th, 2004, 12:25 PM
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Most places serve instant coffee (Nescafe), although I was pleasantly surprised at Sanyati on Lake Kariba in September and at the Bushcamps in Zambia (Chendeni, and the other three in that group) that they served pressed coffee. Since many safari camps simply do not have the facility to make coffee using what you may provide, I believe that you had better accommodate yourself to Nescafe or drink tea. ZZ
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Oct 24th, 2004, 02:49 PM
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sandi
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aggiewriter - which country?

Kenyan and Tanzanian coffee are known as some of the best coffees in the world and found this to be so while in both countries. We never saw "instant/nescafe" anywhere in these countries. I do remember, for our very first trip, bring advised that if we wanted "decaf" to bring our own packets. Since neither of us drink or need decaf this wasn't a concern.

While in Southern Africa, we found the coffee to be fine, some places better then other, but certainly not as bitter as I feel Starbuck's regular coffee to be.

So depending on where you're traveling, by country, or even a particular lodge/camp & how important this is to you, I'd have to agree with Zambezi, doubt whether many safari camps could prepare what you bring, though there is never any harm in asking.
 
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Oct 24th, 2004, 03:14 PM
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I have a very small coffee maker that makes two cups (my husband doesn't drink coffee, so this is enough for me). Since the places we are staying provide a hair dryer, I was thinking of taking this instead, as it takes the same amount of space and the "pot" isn't made of glass (it drips into a travel mug).

But, if the coffee isn't as bad as one book suggested, then I'll leave it behind.
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Oct 24th, 2004, 05:37 PM
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I guess it depends on where you go. I've only been to 5 or 6 camps and have always been served instant except at MalaMala.
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Oct 24th, 2004, 09:20 PM
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I assume you are from the US?

If you do want to bring your own coffee maker it should be dual voltage, and you will need an adaptor (3 prong as in UK).

Also remember that many of the camps have electricity for only part of the day. May not do you much good in the late evening or early morning.
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Oct 24th, 2004, 10:29 PM
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I can only speak for South Africa. Here, coffee would be imported and would usually be South American or European, not from other parts of Africa. Although I have often wondered where the European (mainly Dutch or German) brands are sourced. There are also at least two major South African ranges, which I have always assumed were sourced from South America. For example, see www.ciro.co.za/1_range.html. "House of Coffees" is another.

Any supermarket has a wealth of alternative imported and "local" brands of arabica, both ground and beans. So the quality of the coffee at a camp or a restuarant or a coffee shop will depend on how important that is to the owner, not any lack of options.

There are also several chains of "coffee houses" similar to Starbucks (Starbucks is not in the country), as well as many "independents", and also those that offer light meals as well as good coffee. A very successful such chain is "Mugg and Bean" - www.muggandbean.co.za.
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Oct 25th, 2004, 02:05 AM
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Hmm. I know that the source of South Africa's coffee beans is somewhat off-topic, but my curiousity has been aroused. I still haven't confirmed the source of the unroasted beans that are roasted and blended locally By Ciro and House of Coffees (the latter is also a chain of coffee houses BTW), but I did find the following quote from a March article. It seems to confirm that the source of those beans hasn't previously been Africa, but that there is now at least one exception to that:

"South African supermarket group Shoprite has sealed a landmark deal to directly import Ugandan coffee, paying farmers more and bypassing the European trade. Shoprite is buying arabica coffee from Ugandan firm Rwenzori Coffee, which will have the green beans roasted in South Africa. This is the first time a South African retailer has bought coffee directly from Uganda, the biggest coffee exporter on the continent."
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Oct 25th, 2004, 10:12 AM
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My concern is (not really a concern because this isn't a DIRE issue) not so much the quality of the beans but how it's prepared. I like mine fairly strong and black and I'll add two sugar cubes at the most.

After researching my accomodations, I have found that they have coffee makers in the rooms, so no need to bring my own.

After reading Arthur's last post, I'm wondering if I should put a bag of Ugandan coffee beans of my to-buy list...
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Oct 25th, 2004, 07:06 PM
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I found the coffee in mornings on safari in Botswana was too strong for my tastes (DH loves it that way) so for the first time in my life, I was drinking coffee with milk. At morning breaks, I preferred brewing my own cuppa tea with a tea bag to the instant coffee. (And of course sundowners....well that was for a little drink )
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Oct 25th, 2004, 08:10 PM
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Hi Aggie..
I am a huge coffee nut so I was giggling when I read your post.
African coffees are my all time faves, Kenyan, Tanzanian and Ethiopian so I am sorely disappointed at the thought of starting the morning with instant on our upcoming trip in 2005.
I will be shopping for coffee in Cape Town prior to heading for Botswana.
I may be forced to toss out all my undies in exchange for my french press when packing. What a girl has to do for a good cuppa joe...
A less drastic solution is a travel "cone". It is plastic and very lightweight ( undies are back in), you put a paper filter in it, a few scoops of your favorite ground coffee, pour hot water over and Viola... the perfect cup of coffee. Or a travel size french press cup (makes on cup).
Yes, I am ill, critically ill with coffee fever.
Thankfully I really love Bush Tea as well, so perhaps I will survive after all.
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Oct 25th, 2004, 10:51 PM
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wallybrenda . . . even more compact than any "cone" filter, is a single-cup filter that takes a circular filter paper about 7cm im diameter. (I don't have one in front of me.) You can buy the filter cup in some S.A. supermarkets (and no doubt in other countries), and the filter papers are available in most supermarkets.

I have one of those, and also a similar one that has a built-in permanent filter. My most recent coffee-related purchase was a 15 bar pressure (which I now realise is the minimum required for a decent machine) espresso/cappucino machine to replace a simpler one I've had for many years. Not an expensive commercial machine, but great for domestic use, and so far it's my "purchase of the year", potentially of the decade!

Yes, I'm also a coffee nut! Usually only a couple of cups a day, but it's gotta be good! And never instant. That's not being snobbish, it just a whole different drink, even when it's pure Nescafe. So I really empathise with you other posters!
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Oct 26th, 2004, 11:20 AM
  #13
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Wally: I'm glad you can relate I feel much better now and will add a pound or so of African coffee on my souvinere list.
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Oct 27th, 2004, 07:29 AM
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aggiewriter add me to the camp of java (Starbucks)addicted. In my recent Zambia trip report I listed a gazillion positives about my entire trip.

The only negative of my entire trip was that instant Nescafe was the only coffee served in a couple of the bush camps I stayed at. Just did not do it for me and I would next time bring a single cup cone and some of my favorite ground beans.
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Oct 27th, 2004, 08:12 AM
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Do the higher end lodges/camps provide regularly-brewed coffee?
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