“Follow your dreams”: Halima Kapamba shares her fascination with specialty coffee in Tanzania.
Halima Kapamba recalls the first time she had a great cup of coffee. She was invited by Puzzle Coffee for a specialty coffee event where she got to experience different methods of brewing filter coffee. This was all new to her, and it was different from the coffee she was used to drinking. What struck her was also the sense of community, seeing fellow attendees enjoying their coffee and appearing rather knowledgeable about it.
With her interest piqued, it wasn’t long before Puzzle Coffee invited Halima to work with them as a barista, and she has stayed on until today. Halima is now the Operations Manager, with her experience in hospitality contributing to improvements in coffee shop operations and customer service.
Living in Zanzibar in Tanzania, the allure of working in the coffee industry was down to Halima’s fascination with specialty coffee, which made her pursue learning to understand how to brew a better cup for customers. She is also excited by the new challenges brought about by industry-wide research that aims to improve specialty coffee. Halima’s favourite part of work is now making filter coffee across the Chemex, V60, Aeropress and Siphon. Halima enjoys these brewing methods and loves being able to show people what her favourite coffee tastes like.
Halima Kapamba also shares that maintaining high standards of consistency is a challenge. She admits that it is especially hard having to supervise people who do not seem committed to the work and lack the passion for it, as they tend to struggle to maintain the standards required. For Halima, success means opening yourself to new challenges that enable you to grow and develop mentally, spiritually and professionally.
One aspect she initially found difficult was making latte art, with plenty of mistakes made in the early days while she was getting used to it. She watched videos and practised relentlessly to master the craft. Being a barista in the specialty coffee industry is already a big achievement in her books, as well as being able to make latte art better than before.
Halima’s source of motivation and inspiration is her brother who she lives with and her newborn. Looking at them every day gives her a reason to work hard to care for them. She’s also an avid swimmer and dancer, with her favourite song being the gospel track The Children’s Song by Josh White and Josh Garrels.
Speaking about how the coffee industry has grown in her four years in coffee, she quips that people in Tanzania are getting more interested in specialty coffee. Halima wants to inspire others to become baristas and contribute to shaping and uplifting the specialty coffee culture in Tanzania: “Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams and be happy with what you are doing.”