It was a late afternoon involving several men in slate-blue suits, students wearing casual, elegant businesswomen absorbed in their work, as concerned waiters were delicately pouring drinks into glasses. It was all very convivial, I thought, chuckling.
Opposite my seat, was a business lady having an executive breakfast. Quite appetizing, should I say. A beef sausage, fried eggs on toast, spinach, and some mushroom. Nearby, an absorbed student was having coffee, in a paper cup, like me. An Expresso, I think. Ah, the joy of these. The coffee here is hot, not scalding hot, just at the right temperature.
“Can you taste the cocoa nibs?” asked the barista, Alex in evangelical tones. “Yes, I can,” I said, startled. I had almost forgotten the barista across me from the bar. “How about the crème?” Alex asked. “Heavenly,” I said because, at that moment, I truly could be in heaven.
The crêpes I had ordered along helped things along, plus the tiny square of banana cake, offered to accentuate the beverage’s flavors.
“Are you still hurrying up?” he asked concerned. “Unfortunately, yeah,” I answered. I had a meeting with my boss in the next ten minutes.
Suddenly drinking my double mochaccino when on deadline felt like self-sabotage. “Maybe you can pass by later,” Alex said sympathetically. “We can argue again on what’s best, your Mochaccino or my classic Café Latte.” He laughingly added. I laughed back. Alex and I always have this everlasting debate on which is better, his preferred drink or mine. Each day, we both come up with new arguments and I seriously doubt if we’ll ever win it.
Upstairs, inside MIC shopping mall, on the top floor which overlooks King’s College Chapel, has to be one of the best spots in all Camellia branches.
If you’ve had a busy week, there’s nothing quite like a large mug of their Breakfast tea or coffee while you enjoy the stunning view, perhaps watching the students, cyclists or simply passers-by.
Those feeling peckish can try the giant marinated quarter chicken or the traditional beef goulash, which never seems to decrease in size. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, there’s a selection of tempting crepes and pancakes (the maple syrup pancake stack is divine). For those who want a well-earned treat, Camellia also offers a selection of pastries, such as Black Forest Cakes, delicate Carrot Muffins and Vanilla cakes, perfect for any day in Kigali.
And then there’s the Coffee. Absolutely spellbinding. A lifesaver for some of us. Worth trying sometimes – especially if Alex is your Barista.