Chewing beans at the International School of Tanganyika
Some weeks ago, the International School of Tanganyika (IST) elementary school invited us to give a presentation about coffee for a class of 25 students in Grade 4. Because we really like to be involved with coffee, talk about it and share with others about the interesting world of coffee, we said yes.
And so, after some more research we finished a presentation about coffee and last Friday Rebecca, Meshak and I (intern) headed off to the IST near the centre of Dar.
After a warm welcome from teacher Sarjeda and the children, Meshack started off the presentation with the first question: did someone ever drink coffee?? YES! They all did (which surprised me a lot actually). Meshack headed on with his part of the presentation and shared what coffee is (seed from the berry of a coffee plant), where coffee grows in Tanzania (Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, Kigoma) and he talked about the legendary goat-herd Kaldi who first discovered coffee in Ethiopia.
Then the children started to ask us some questions which they had prepared: Why do we work for Wamama Kahawa? Do we practice fair trade? How much coffee is exported? How else is coffee used (except drinking it)? How is coffee processed? Under what special circumstances does coffee grow?
Rebecca knew the most about this all and answered most of the questions.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that the kids were very enthusiastic about the subject, very interested and they actually knew a lot about coffee already.
Then it was the moment to show some green and roasted coffee beans, which directly brought out the question: “Can we eat them??” I didn’t recommend eating the green ones but for the roasted ones I said: “Yes, go ahead!”(although I did mention that it might not be very good for your stomach to eat too much roasted beans – in any event we only gave each group a few beans!).
The last part of the interactive presentation was my responsibility: explaining how to make coffee. The best way to make coffee is to grind freshly roasted beans and make your own coffee with a French press, dripper or stove-top espresso maker. I showed them the espresso machine we use at WK and a cappuccino I made (inclusive of latte art!).
On request we ground some beans in the grinder we brought and finished up the presentation by filling the classroom with the aroma of freshly grinded coffee (Sarjeda the teacher was especially grateful for this J) As a souvenir, Rebecca handed out WK bumper stickers to all the children.
We enjoyed the presentation a lot and also learned more about coffee than we had known before J We would like to say thanks again to Leah (who invited us), teacher Sarjeda, and of course the wonderful children for the nice afternoon at IST. We hope they’ve enjoyed it as much as we did!