Peo­ple don’t con­sider cof­fee as their choice, mainly be­cause of the taste and the price.”

The East African - - BUSI­NESS -

Ce­les­tine Gataray­iha, Agri­cul­tural Ex­port Devel­op­ment Board

"It was brought to us in a neg­a­tive way," she says. "Also eggs and poul­try. Peo­ple in the ru­ral ar­eas were taught that these were for white peo­ple."

Though Rwanda does not pro­duce as much cof­fee as its neigh­bours Ethiopia or Kenya, afi­ciona­dos are in­creas­ingly recog­nis­ing the coun­try as a source of spe­cialty or gourmet cof­fee due to the favourable cli­mate and al­ti­tude, es­pe­cially in the south­ern and western re­gions.

And ac­cord­ing to peo­ple in the in­dus­try, it is catch­ing on.

Pa­trick Ruhu­mur­iza, who is in his early 20s, says he was so taken with cof­fee when he first en­coun­tered it four years ago, that he taught him­self how to be­come a bar­ris­ter over Youtube and now works at the Magda cafe.

He say that since the cafe opened in March 2018, he has seen a steady stream of cus­tomers, in­clud­ing Rwan­dans, come through its doors — even if some are drawn not by the cof­fee served but by the am­bi­ence.

An­gel Mu­toni, 22, a cashier at the same cafe, who stud­ies law, says cof­fee is a hit with sleep-de­prived stu­dents. She ad­mits, how­ever, that many find the taste — and the price— pe­cu­liar. "It is expensive, but when they come, I in­vite them to taste it. I give them the light­est brew," she says.

Still, not all cof­fee shop work­ers are as en­thused about the brew them­selves.

Igor Miller, 21, a waiter at the Bour­bon cafe, one of the first es­tab­lish­ments to open in Ki­gali, says the num­ber of clients has risen over the past year. "Peo­ple were not used to it, but they are see­ing it dif­fer­ently now," he says.

Miller adds, how­ever, that no mat­ter the hype, he has yet to take cof­fee. "I still don't like it. I just work here," he laughs.

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