I am currently sitting in a hotel room in Longreach, Outback, Australia; it’s not that I am so much wishing I was backpacking in Cape Town, in the Cafe on the top floor at Ashanti Backpackers Gardens, I generally am but this morning at 5:30am before I start my working day I am missing the coffee machine there. I can tell you for nothing last night when I was drinking a five dollar bottle of wine for twenty dollars I was missing Stellenbosch wines too.
The first time I went back to Africa, I can remember saying to my then boyfriend “should I pack coffee?”, after all back packing through Europe had been outside of Italy problematic for a coffee addict like myself and I had ended up wasting space with coffee supplies. He told me I was nuts and “they grow coffee there”.
Needless to say that after two weeks visiting family and travelling all over Zimbabwe, Aunty took pity on me and took me to the only espresso bar in Harare upon our return to the capital. The joint had only 2 females in it (Aunty and I) … It was like Hinley St. In Adelaide in seventies. I traumatised the waiter by asking for a long black coffee. Apparently this is an Australian term. Aunty clarified and told him to give me 2 short black coffees.
My arrival in Cape Town followed where fortunately the waiters of Cape Town cafes understood the poor Australian who needed a long black coffees. I can still see my sister in a glamorous cafe at the Waterfront saying Australians were a bit serious about their coffee.
A few years later I brought The Husband to be to meet the folks, I can still remember his face, the first time he had instant coffee with Hickory in it. We were in Pretoria. We spent an entire day trying to find a solution to his coffee needs that didn’t involve buying a percolator. I will never get that day back.
So dear traveller, if you are a coffee drinker, remember when you leave that little oasis called Ashanti. There may not be good coffee to follow. Bring your own. Australians can bring coffee bags (like tea bags) but the rest of you will need to bring a coffee camping maker or a one cup plunger.