My first contact ever with Uganda probably was through coffee. Freshly grounded, fragrant(real !) coffee. My pleasure back in Canada, was indeed to seek and taste those varieties from far away places.... The Uganda Bugisu coffee that I was buying from a small roasting shop in Québec City thus became a favourite. Little did I know at that time that I would actually be living in the homeland of Bugisu a few years later !
My first little gem had therefore to be THE ideal warm and comfortable coffee place in Uganda: SOURCE OF THE NILE CAFE, on Jinja's Main Street
It is such a good combination of coziness and simplicity. To step into the nice building, with amazing woodcarved doors and furnitures,that beautiful ceiling (do look up !), and those creative mosaics on the floor (do look down !), makes you feel like stepping in another era (the building was built in 1924).
I just love to sit by the wooden counter, Moustique alongside me, and watch as my selected coffee beans are grounded: if you arrive at the time of Mont Elgon's coffee beans delivery, and ask nicely, they do it most willingly. Moustique in the meanwhile is kept busy trying to decipher the mechanical system behind the antique looking coffee brewing machine (do not know if it actually is).
Staff are very welcoming and relaxed (and I am always pleased to get that welcome BACK greeting...silly right ? but makes you feel part of the place). I make sure to stop by every time I go to Jinja (which is very often, everyone who knows me also knows how much I wish I was living in Jinja). It is a such a nice place to hang around for a midday light lunch and during those afternoon storms typical of the rainy season .
Proceeds are re-invested in the local community: there is a small library and leisure center inside, an internet spot (reasonnable speed), and a craft boutique.
Mont Elgon arabica coffee sold there (Kira coffee) is a rich tasting, mellow, and a little bit sweet coffee. Very unlike the strong, acidic, Kenyan type coffee. And the smell is head turning, but in a pleasant, not saturating way.
And to be able to get directly from the Source is an added special ''je ne sais quoi'' ....
(Traduction française a venir, si la vitesse de l'internet le permet...) (Mise à jour 12 jan 2010: je crois finalement que je vais laisser chacune de ces chroniques dans la langue originale qui l'aura inspirée....)