I don't drink coffee. But Senegalese coffee, or Café Touba, has some nostalgic meaning to me.
Once I had to spend a whole day in Frankfurt. I had to leave my friend with whom I stayed in the morning because she was busy. The next host would have time not before the evening. I remember heavy luggage which made it hard to walk through town. So I took camp for one day by the river, trying to pass the time. After a while some Senegalese men invited me to join them for a very tiny and very sweet cup of Café Touba. Easy to pass time like that!
Back in Leipzig I visited my friend who is from Senegal and runs a eco food store there. I asked him for Café Touba, which he didn't sell but he told me to come back. Some days later I got a box of the powder from his private stock.
I had forgotten about it afterwards. Three years later I am walking through Copenhagen with my best friend and her day and her strained back are saved by a cup of coffee in free state Christiania. I remember Café Touba in the course of our conversation. I get a craving that won't stop. I go back to Sweden, where I have ended up in the meantime. No African nor Arabic shop sells it. I am off to Italy to visit a friend. My Italian class mate tells me about the Senegalese community in Italy. I ask my Italian friend. She asks yet another friend. We try the ethnic quarter around the station in Rome. Success!
I am sipping Café Touba whie I am typing this and realise how connected and tiny this world is, and how tiny I am in it and how much connected to it - through a simple cup of coffee.