There is a possibility that this time round, coffee shopping will be a woman’s thing—unlike the coffee dates which we all agreed earlier on this post here to being a man’s thing. Recently, a bunch of Kenyan netizens came up with an outrageous proposal to local supermarket chain’s management to provide them with sitting benches and free wifi so that they can do important things like photo-shopping while their women go on with the torturous shopping. Some clever guys around my neighborhood have taken advantage of this situation and strategically opened executive barber shops with spa and massage and pedicure, manicure, facecure and all other cures around the malls to take advantage of these free Man-Hours.
Any man who hits the computer spacebar with a thump and can comfortably lick the tip of his tongue will tell you that shopping to them is not an experience. In fact men rarely do shopping. They simply purchase. Just ask online entrepreneurs. Most of them would rather do pay on delivery with men’s stuff than risk sitting in the Nairobi traffic jam for hours only to be met by a giggly lady at the gate saying that she was just joking; trying to see if these ‘online things’ actually work! Lord!
Before this escalates into a gender debate, I will quickly bring in coffee. Yea… just imagine all this was about coffee! Coffee shopping to be precise; and trust me this is an area where both man and woman will have what betting people call goal-goal when it comes to confusion. In fact, I have been observing many shoppers at this section of the supermarket and it is clear that this area can only be rivaled by the electronics area as the headquarters of shoppers’ confusion. The blank stares and people picking up items, rotating them a gazillion times trying to understand the jargon tells it all.
So, what’s in your cup? Coffee either comes in Roasted drip form or Instant form. This first part will mainly focus on the drip types of coffee that you are likely to get in our malls. Let’s go.
We start here. You probably only know of tea bags because that is what is common here in Kenya. Next time you are at the coffee section, check around and you will see similar packets of coffee bags. Coffee bags are made with simplicity in mind. This is why I chose to start with them because that is what all this blog is about…Simplifying complexities. As seen earlier in the Coffee Myths and Facts article, most Kenyans would rather avoid coffee because it is hectic to prepare or so they think. The coffee bags came in to fill this myth gap. No complex brewing needed here. Just put the filter in your hot water or milk and enjoy your cup of coffee.
Roasted Coffee Beans
We will call this the ‘realest’ form of coffee. If you want to buy premium coffee on the shelves, this is where your attention is needed because I have heard instances where so many new coffee consumers have made a purchase of coffee without the understanding of the difference between coffee beans and ground coffee. A customer once complained that they had been sold seeds instead of coffee! If you are to buy coffee in pouches or any other sealed containers, it is important to find out whether it is in form of beans or ground. This information is usually clearly indicated on the containers. For those in the know, the coffee beans make a good purchase if you have a grinder at home. Coffee beans can retain their freshness much longer than ground coffee and you can enjoy a fresh cup every time by grinding bits by bits of the beans at a time.
I am sure even some coffee lovers are thinking a grinder is such an expensive investment to have in the house. Take another look at your house blender. I am sure it came with a small piece of grinder which you probably didn’t know its use and is still tucked somewhere in the blender box. Now you know.
Roasted Coffee Ground
This is also known as brew coffee. We shall not go overboard with the descriptions because it is simply what you get after grinding roasted coffee beans. It is the most popular type of coffee in the Kenyan supermarket shelves and ranges from sachets as small as 15g to 500g pouches. Just like in the beans, there will be different names and brands here which mainly will take the place of origin nomenclature such as Blue Mountain and Gourmet (a culinary jargon for high quality or premium food). Since coffee is all about aroma, the ground coffee form makes it vulnerable to aroma loss due to its increased surface area to volume ratio (Chemistry 101—powdered particles have high surface area to volume ratio compared to whole beans). This means you should store it in an airtight container once opened, especially for those with packets that have no zip-lock seals.
Coffee Capsules or Pods
For coffee lovers who are fussy and particular about how their drink will taste, this is the perfect solution for you. Although not very popular in our market, capsules have been around for some time and have their niche type of crowd who want a premium cup
as fast as the world around them is spinning. The
capsule is made of a plastic container with a filter paper lining that is sealed within a foil. Ground coffee is vacuum packed inside the capsule to retain its characteristics.
This one needs a specialized capsule machine to extract the coffee for a flawless rich cup.
Now, the above list is what a coffee lover will proudly tell you is ‘real coffee.’ They will not touch anything outside this list with a 10 foot Selfie stick. So, you may wonder what else is left in the shelf. Check in here soon for part two.