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Coffee Break: Chemchem Restaurant

Coffee Break: Chemchem Restaurant

About a year ago, I featured Chemchem Restaurant on this blog’s dining segment. I am writing this piece from the new branch of the same business. The launch of the second outlet could be the beginning of an extensive chain of coffee bars and restaurants operating under the Chemchem brand.

Last year’s dining experience took place within the premises of Jalia Garden in Kabuga suburb, but the venue of the ongoing coffee break is Mlimani Garden. The latter is located in Rebero area. Both properties encompass wedding facilities and an artistically designed Chemchem joint.

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning here in Kigali. Excitement is in the air. I am in the hood to witness glory. Shortly after gulping some cappuccino, I will join a magnitude of Tour du Rwanda fans at the neighboring Canal Olympia, where the winner will be crowned. My experiences at the mega event will be shared tomorrow. Meanwhile, let’s talk about coffee.

If you have been visiting this site for a while, you are probably aware of my coffee addiction. As I visit different parts of Rwanda, I incorporate regular coffee breaks into my itineraries. It is during these stopovers when my travel chronicles are written.

Over the past few years, I have been indulging in tailor-made tours designed to shed light on every step of coffee’s supply chain. While visiting Kamujumba estate in Nyamasheke, I nurtured tender seeds, planted trees and harvested ripe cherries. At Jarama washing station, I tried my hand at pulping and drying. Recently, I learned how to roast beans and brew different flavors, courtesy of El Vista CafĂ©. My "seed to cup" journey ignited the newfound appreciation of this iconic product.

Today’s dose of caffeine is administered when I am glued to the TV hanging on the wall. The gigantic screen is tuned to RTV, the official broadcaster of the aforementioned event. After spinning their spokes around the land of 1,000 hills, the vigorous participants are approaching the finishing line — sandwiched between swarms of thrilled cycling enthusiasts. The crowning moment is upon us. On this beautiful Sunday morning, all roads lead to Rebero. Literary.

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