October 23rd, 2016
I’ve been quite active in Hong Kong, and meeting tons of cool people. Every weekend I’m looking on different local websites and blogs about events/happenongs. I tend to usually end up in Central, specifically at PMQ which I mentioned in a previous post. It’s the same place I attended the fashion event some weeks ago. Well this weekend was the Dine & Design Festival. There were a bunch of local businesses stationed including fashion designers, dessert and food companies, and others selling all kinds of cool stuff. Hong Kong is known for their high fashion malls and luxury stores so I really enjoy seeing local talents at PMQ.
Sadé and I strolled around and came upon a booth selling coffee. There was a woman at the table working whom immediately began to chat with us, her name is Charlene. She started out offering us a sample of the coffee, yea, free samples are always a go. While her partner was preparing the coffee she began to tell us about her company called “Africa Coffee and Tea”. They source coffee beans and tea leaves straight from the birthplace of coffee, Africa. Charlene personally works with women in various countries in Africa, such as Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda who grow and produce the coffee bean and tealeaves. The coolest part is that this company supports the women involved in the production process. She told us that women do about 70% of agricultural labor in Africa, but they only receive around 25% of the profits. This company is directly empowering these women financially, and helping to grow their communities.
Now our coffee samples were prepared. I’m actually not a big coffee drinker. On occasion I’ll order a Caramel Frappe from Starbucks, but that’s about it. The sample was from the Uganda coffee beans, and it turned out to be something I can actually manage. It wasn’t even sweetened with sugar or milk, but it didn’t really need to be. It had a naturally light taste that wasn’t bitter or gross. Charlene mentioned that when she drinks it she doesn’t feel like she’s suffering from coffee breath when she talks to people, haha!
Besides the amazing company and coffee samples, it felt good to speak with Charlene. She asked if we knew our African origins. I told her it’s something I plan to look into, she agreed it’s something she wants to do as well. She actually feels a lot at home when visiting Africa and believes it truly is where human beings originated. I found it so cool to meet a Hong Kong native who had similar ideas as me about ethnicity and heritage. I visited Senegal and The Gambia when in as apart of a high school trip, and Charlene has been all over the continent Africa. Leaving our conversation I felt more inspired to learn more about my ancestry and take another trip back to Africa. Ohh and of course I purchased some coffee! Support!