Trip to: Kaldi coffee
Date: Saturday 13 June 2015
Trip Leader: Sanne Steemers
Trip Report: Diane Lemieux
On Saturday 13 June, 27 NFS members departed from Paradise Marina, headed for Kaldi Africa, Nigeria’s premier coffee roaster. Sanne Steemers, the organiser of this event, was so organised that we departed on time, just after 10:00 as planned.
Kaldi Coffee is located in Ilupeju, and is easily accessible from Third Mainland Bridge. It is housed in a beautifully transformed building that was originally a foundry. We were greeted by the lovely founder/manager of Kaldi, Dr Nasra Ali. Her staff served us a delectable cup of coffee or tea of our choice as we viewed a video describing the production of coffee, from the planting of the plant to the cup of cappuccino in our hand.
Alfred Mwai, Chief Barista, roaster and coffee expert, gave us a demonstration on how to taste coffee. He prepared 5 cups of coffee from different freshly roasted and ground and showed us how to slurp the coffee, a bit like tasting wine, to get the maximum flavour. He told us how the different tastes varied according to the type of bean, the earth it was grown in, the process of drying the freshly plucked berries and finally the roasting.
Dr Ali and Mr Mwai, both from Kenya, passionate about the perfection of their product. As we visited the premises, including several minutes in the roastery where we could smell the coffee’s slow progress from sweet beige bean to chocolaty medium roast, we were compelled by their vision and determination to see their dream come true.
Kaldi Africa’s mission is to roast the finest, hand selected, export beans available from the premier coffee growing regions of Africa. Coffee is hand-roasted in small batches using state-of-the-art equipment for maximum quality and freshness. They import raw materials from Rwanda, Ethiopia and their native Kenya, and are helping Nigerian growers improve their technique to bring up the quality of their product to world standards.
At the end of our tour, we were able to buy fresh coffee, tea (green, black and purple!) and Nigerian cocoa from them. Did you know that once roasted, coffee beans stay fresh for only about 6 weeks? The stuff you get in those little capsules is not only not fresh, it is also affected by the plastic they are kept in. Kaldi Africa is looking into making aluminium capsules that will allow you to drink quality coffee in a convenient manner. And contrary to what everyone says, don’t put your beans in the freezer: when you thaw them, moisture creeps into the beans and changes the flavour.