Tag: Rwanda

Foodie Swellness: Nespresso’s new Limited Edition coffees from Rwanda and Mexico


I’ve told you how obsessed I am with my Nespresso machine and the coffee it brews. It’s my morning treat (along with my homemade olive-oil granola, if I happen to not have gobbled it all up!) Whenever I drop into buy more capsules, I try out their new launches. Each year Nespresso launches a limited edition and this year it includes one from Chiapas, Mexico, and the second is from Lake Kivu, Rwanda.

The one from Lake Kivu grabbed my attention as I had the incredible opportunity to travel with Because I Am A Girl five years ago to learn about their programs in Rwanda (I wrote about the trip and the three incredible SmartGirls I got to travel with for Elle Canada). I wish I could share some of the phenomenal photos from that experience, but I lost all my photos from that time…

Back to coffee, though. The two new Limited Edition coffees, Umutima wa Lake Kivu and Tanim de Chiapas, are inspired by these two growing coffee communities.

I remember enjoying fantastic coffee while in Rwanda, and I’ve learned from Nespresso that at Lake Kivu, they use modern post-harvesting practices to reveal the notes that complement the Arabica. Rwandan coffee is considered one of the sweetest and most flavourful of Eat Africa. With the Nespresso Umutima wa Lake Kivu, the green coffee beans are split roasted: this means that half the beans are roasted more lightly so as to bring out juicy fruity notes, and the other half is roasted more so as to bring out strength and texture.

For the Chiapas, Mexico, edition, however, the beans are grown alongside other produce such as avocados and oranges in shady tropical rainforests. The producers here, in comparison to the Rwandan coffee producers, use traditional practices passed down from one generation to another. They also split roast, with the lighter roast bringing out nutty, bready notes and the darker roast bringing out a smooth texture.

How to choose between the two? Umutima wa Lake Kivu has an intensity of 6, is bright and juicy in terms of its notes, and features an almost flirty delicate lingering taste. Tanim de Chiapas is a bit more intense with a level of 7, but is silky with some nutty notes.

But really, try both while you have a chance (available now in Nespresso boutiques and online for a limited time). I’m partial to Umutima wa Lake Kivu myself (but admittedly, it’s in part because sipping it brings back memories of that trip of a lifetime).


Leave a Comment January 27, 2016

How awesomeness affects us

When I think of awe-inspiring moments in my life — I’m talking about jaw-dropping occasions — my trip last August to Rwanda for an article I wrote for Elle Canada about a the SmartGirls initiative between Because I’m a Girl and SmartWater Canada comes to mind. From the excited, happy children so thrilled to see us in their little village to the safari we went on, where we saw hippos, giraffes and more, roaming freely, and so many more moments (too many to mention — but definitely the great group of women I was traveling with played a big part), I still feel overwhelmed with emotion and am grateful I had the chance to experience it.

Awesomeness has a profound effect on us, it seems. In a new study conducted by researchers in Stanford University and University of Minnesota, it seems that these awe-inspiring moments make us feel as though we have more time and make us more patient, less materialistic and more willing to volunteer to help others. It does this by bringing us into the present and thus influencing our decisions, affecting our perception of time and it makes us feel that life is more satisfying.

Here’s to more awesomeness all around.

And more picnic lunches with giraffes. That was totally awesome.

2 Comments July 23, 2012

Be sure to pick up the April 2012 issue of Elle Canada

In August, I had the opportunity to participate on a trip of a lifetime to Rwanda with some amazing women: some team members from the non-profit Because I Am a Girl, Plan Canada and SmartWater, Olympian and Because I am a Girl Ambassador Jennifer Heil (who is the only reason I was able to get through a pretty terrifying chimpanzee tracking excursion — she kept me calm and helped me get through the treacherous hike even though my legs were shakin’ like jello, but that’s a story for ‘nother time) and three incredible Canadian women who won the title of SmartWater SmartGirls thanks to their work on helping to improve the lives of women. These three women — Kama Money, Caroline Smeenck and Christy Smith — continue to inspire me today.

The whole  lot of us were in Rwanda to help celebrate the opening of a new school and to learn about and see Plan Canada’s projects in action. And you can read all about it in the April issue of Elle Canada on newsstands now!


5 Comments March 11, 2012

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