Coffee and Staying Ahead

I did promise to share the rest of my experience from #koikoiEast trip so here we are.
It comes later than I had hoped but in my defense I was trying to get these koikoiEast human beings to send  me some more pictures but as it turns out they are hoarders so lets do this.
I will take my own pictures next time.
Also  if you are the type to brag that you made your own coffee in the morning because you know how to twist the cover off the tin of Nescafe in your kitchen, or are fancy enough to operate a coffee maker,  I am afraid I have some difficult news.
You have never made coffee.
Let me tell you how coffee is made.
It starts with a trip to the slopes of Mt Elgon in Kapchorwa ,

The outfit of preference was the hoodie, alot of us missed the memo

On a completely unrelated note ,  I picked up a fundamental lesson on this trip,  when a young Sabiny boy named either Peter( when it’s a hike)  or Alex ( when it’s lesson on coffee),  tells you in Kapchorwa that the place he is taking you to is 10 minutes away on foot, what he actually means is it is, 10 minutes for them that share olympic gold medalist Kiprotich genes and maybe an hour for us mere mortals.
Coffee is first planted in pots (more like shallow paper bags but if Alex the coffee teacher says it’s a pot then it’s a pot okay?)
Peter the coffee teacher and Joel Jjemba his attentive student. Photo Credit :SpartakussUg

With a bit of composite manure TLC,  you should be able to transplant the baby coffee to the garden after 9-12months.
Three years,  more composite manure and a bit of baby sitting later, your coffee maybe ready to harvest and every year after that, you could walk away with about 15kg of coffee beans.
Here is another thing, a well grown, well fed, well tendered and well protected from pest incumbrances coffee plant can survive up to beyond 10 years
Baby coffee at 3 years

Which means every year you get to harvest without planting…
Whoever said, you have to reap where you have sown, clearly has no Arabica  Coffee experience.
Now if I haven’t made a coffee farmer out of you,  let me see if I can make you a ‘coffee maker’.
From the time coffee is harvested .
The beans are dried.

Dried coffee beans

With the help of the traditional Ugandan mortar and pestle (pictures hoarded),  the beans are pounded to remove the husks.
The sound of the pestle,
hitting the husky seeds in the mortar is what first got me.
It was in the rhythm.
Like a beat of a song only I knew how to dance to. 
Like a memory so engroined,
It holds a special place
The stories of which only I could tell,
But not knowing how. 
Like a nostalgic sound I didn’t want to stop because it took my feelings, emotions and nerves to places I wasn’t  scared to go.
It birthed a routine.
Yes am telling you about making coffee 
In a wooden mortar and pestle in Kapchorwa, Eastern Uganda 
Because it wasn’t just an activity, it was an experience.

Then there is winnowing, roasting, then more pounding of the roast coffee to get the powder.
It’s the point where coffee powder hits the pot of boiling water that will have you asking for all your money you have ever paid for a cup of coffee back.
It’s the rawness
Something about the scent
It hits you like a wave
Like an ageless bottle of fine wine. 
Like the aroma of your best dish served to you by the best chef in town on the day you are most hungry.
It was euphoric
Absolute pure perfection
And with every sip I nodded with knowing confidence.
That I had attained bragging rights to say, “I made my own coffee”

Coffee Brewing Experts

So please allow me to invite you to have a cup of coffee with me on the slopes of Mt Elgon in the #koikoiUg rendition of Java House Kapchorwa.
Like my blog cousin Beaton of Zimbabwe, likes to say;
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you about two things.
1. Staying ahead.
So if you are a vehicle, Vivo Energy ‘s V-Power is the only way you stay ahead of all the other ninjas. I know because that bad boy got us to and from Kapchorwa with our vehicle engines intact.
Also if you are a vehicle owner you are very welcome for that helpful free advice.

“What does staying ahead mean to you?”
Thats a question Daudi kept hounding everyone to answer on the trip . At first it sounded like a question asked at job interviews and since I haven’t been to any of those, I first refused to answer on grounds that it would incriminate me.
However after I overcame my over thinking, I discovered that,while Ibra (he of the summit mileage and killer accent ) stays ahead by going to the top of Kilimanjaro and Everest. I have a more sane way of going about my life.
So I stay ahead by:
Figuring out and focusing on the  thing(s) I am passionate about
Pursuing them excellently.
Inspiring at least one person along the way.
Unashamedly asking for all the help I need from the people who can.
And trusting God to iron out all the kinks,
Because what I lack in perfection He makes up for in love.

2. I would tell you about my highlights from #koikoiEast
The No.1 Slayer
The people.

That's one of the many on the list of koikoi favorite pastimes.

The No.2 Slayer
Abseiling and surviving that reckless decision

The No. 3 Slayer
Running on an hour of sleep.

The No. 4 Slayer
My awards a.k.a badges of honour


The No. 5 Slayer
The trip back a.k.a the battle between the Ghanaian Vs Nigerian Jellof .(Don’t ask, there are not enough English words to explain it)

The No. 6 Slayer
All things spiritual thank you

The No. 7 Slayer

It's a slayers world, the rest of us just live in it

The No. 8 Slayer.
My koikoi flight suit,  which I intend to turn into a fitting jumpsuit straight off the runway.

My koikoi flight suit which am going to turn into a Jumpsuit off the runway

Photo Credits: Joel Jjemba and SpartakussUg( The non picture hoarders)


  1. Joel Jemba

    *Claims photo credit for the three pictures in the piece* Don’t worry I don’t have copyright as yet, hahahaha.
    well done Sunshine on the slaying, well done!

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  2. Derek

    Wow you just reminded me of my first years trip to this place and the taste of that roasted Arabic coffee just wow

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