The content of this blog does not reflect the positions of the Peace Corps and is solely the responsibility of the author.

Coffee. In Tanzania.

Tanzanians don't drink coffee, by and large.  They are drinkers of tea or hot milk.  Or tea made with hot milk.  Coffee largely appears in the form of really nasty instacoffee.  I make it through buffets by adding instacoffee to hot milk and adding lots of sugar.  Sometimes instacocoa is also available so I add a slug of that as well.

Tanzania does, however, grow coffee as an export.  Mostly in the Southern Highlands region.  The economics of the situation are that the raw coffee is mostly shipped up to Moshi in the northeast, a journey of 15 hours or so if you are on a fast bus, roasted and ground, and shipped out of the country except for a little that is shipped back into the large towns and cities for consumption by foreigners.  What this means is that I could buy ground and roasted coffee from the large supermarkets catering to westerners for 7,000TSH for 250 grams.  Fortunately, some unroasted coffee beans are also usually available in local markets, albeit one has to look for it, so I can go to the market and find the few people who have coffee beans, which sell for between 4,000TSH and 8,000TSH per kilo.  The prices have either dropped from 8,000TSH since I got here or it helps a lot that I have found a good coffee man to buy from who never overcharges me.  He sells honey and spices, too.  What this means is that it is much more economical to do my own coffee roasting.

I buy coffee half a kilo at a time, because that fills an empty peanut butter jar almost exactly. 

To roast, the internet recommends an old style popcorn popper, I toss a thin layer
of beans into a pot and cook them on an electric hot plate.  I sometimes stir a little, if I feel like it.

The process is very smokey.

Not the most even roast ever, but perfection isn't actually required here.
Don't believe coffee propaganda, if you roast your own it will be extremely flavorful,
it matters not if every bean has been perfectly roasted.

A French press is what I am happiest about packing, and the mechanical
grinder is one of the best things I have received in a care package.
In the backdrop is my tower of ant-tempting condiments; they live in a pot that always
has a protective layer of water in it.  

I started whining over Facebook right after Halloween about the lack
of candy in my life, and not only did some people feel guilty enough to
ship me candy, I got a Snoopy mug as well!  Thanks MB!
Incidentally, I don't actually like Jane Austen, someone else left those
books on my coffee table.  

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