This year in June, I decided to hop in my childhood village in Kyotera to spend some time with my family there for a few days! Like usual, I was given a warm hospitality given the 4-hour journey in a Taxi all the way from Kampala. I found them in good health and obviously a very joyful family! But they decried the prolonged dry season which was making farming – their main cash making activity, very difficult! So the Almighty GOD was by their side throughout and provided them with their needs!
The next day I asked my Grandma if she minded accompanying me to her birthplace in the rolling hills of Kooki kingdom, Rakai district so that I can at least find something to write about given the fact that the area was receiving fewer media coverage.
Fortunately, she agreed and the next morning by 10:00am we were on our way to Kooki. First of all, transport there is a real struggle and discomfort, so we only had to endure the difficulties along the way! Before this trip, I had been in Kooki only once and as a child, so I was very excited to be back there again!
All the way, we passed by several towns, Lake Kijanebarola (migrated here in broad daylight as people witnessed) and finally the 35km Rakai Town. We then proceeded to Kibaale then until we reached Kyakasenene village approx 12 km from Rakai Town! It had rained heavily on us as we were riding on the boda-boda from Kibaale to Kyakasenene and we were forced to take a shelter at a strange house in a village where cases of cannibalism were reported just 2 months ago.
But we were not scared of this, we remained strong as we recounted the ordeals we read in news and media which covered this news event for a long time! Now we were taking shelter at a house in a village where cannibalism took place just a few months ago, anyway, we were unfazed as we waited for the rains to reduce.
We arrived at our intended destination all soaked, drained and wet by the rainfall, the boda-boda rider told me it was the first time in many months it had rained in this hilly area where 96% depend on Agriculture to earn a living! So I thought we came with good luck haha! Well, they received us well in a heartfelt way! I felt really home like never before as the sunshine started coming out from the dense rain clouds to reveal the true golden beauty of this green countryside and hilly area!
As I was still being pampered as a guest, I took a stroll around the hosting home only to discover that the family’s main economic activity was coffee farming, harvesting, drying, processing, and marketing! They have been into this activity for generations which they can’t even recall the actual period, but certainly, they adopted it in their childhood times.
They told me that they harvest ripe coffee beans and wash them, then place them in a sack which they put in a saucepan of water then they are put on the fire to boil! After boiling, they are soft and left there for a full day to make them ready for the roasting process!
During the roasting process, coffee beans are drained from the boiled water in the sack then spread all over the roasting metal net under which fire heats them so that they dry! Normally, firewood is the best recommended for this heating because it smoke doesn’t interfere with the coffee taste.
After minutes or hours of roasting and ensuring that all coffee beans have been thoroughly heated and dried, by then they change color from brown to silver black, then fire underneath is reduced so that the beans just remain warm for at least 30 minutes. During this period, a glittering liquid is poured or mixed in the coffee beans. This I was told that it gives the dried coffee beans a shining, crystal, and glittering look, makes them have a tastier look and original deliciousness.
Simply I was amazed by the whole of this process!!!
I observed intently at the coffee processing and drying stages as I was also being explained how they carry out this interesting activity to produce the best delicious and healthy coffee beans which they transport to retailers who in turn sell them to the hawkers and shop owners in various towns of Rakai, Masaka, and Kampala.
Some pictures of the coffee drying activity give you a closer observation like I had the coffee roasting process.
I was also given some ready to chew coffee beans which I tried to eat but I had little because I hadn’t got used to eating them!
Truly, I had encountered several hawkers selling these dry coffee beans on several streets of Ugandan towns but never did I have any idea about how they are processed and packaged!
So now I recommend that if you ever get so much interested in something that you really enjoy using or eating, try to think about how it’s made, and which processes does it go through to come at your disposal.
By the time we left in mid-evening, I so much believed in the ability of the people even though in very remote and rugged landscape areas, still they can be able to do things that awestruck us! When we left, a beautiful sunshine soaring up majestically in the skies exposed the true beauty of the Kooki hills, I simply couldn’t stop taking pictures of the lovely landscape.
Our hosts had also prepared for us Matooke (green bananas) which we couldn’t resist accepting, for sure they have big productive gardens and they are surely blessed! I came back to Kyotera happy and still amazed at the natural beauty of Rakai countryside and it’s very hospitable people.
Coffee Roasting Process in Pictures
Thank you all for reading, feel free to share and please, have a nice time……