Spikes09 Jan 2015

Living the bean


Patrick Makau

Rambo fan Patrick Makau likes coffee so much, he grows the stuff. The former marathon world record holder tells SPIKES about his zeal for the bean.

“I produce not only coffee, but bananas, maize and beans – all common foods in the area I grew up in Machakos County in Kenya. I plant coffee to consume, but also to sell.

“We have a good climate for coffee. It is a hilly dry place, but quite cold in the mornings.

“To make coffee is a very simple procedure. I plant the seeds in the nursery before they germinate after about 2-3 weeks. They then stay in the nursery for three months until the plants grow to about one foot tall. I’ll then transplant them into the field. They then take about two years before the coffee beans are ripe enough to harvest.

Patrick Makau

"Someone put the kettle on, I've just run the marathon"

“I usually produce about 25-30 sacks of coffee each year at around 90kg a bag. The coffee I grow has a lovely sweet taste.

“I tend to drink coffee with friends rather than family and if I had to pick three people from the world of track and field I would share a coffee with it would be Mo Farah, Paul Tergat and Vivian Cheruiyot – three good friends of mine.

“My favourite coffee is a Lowbuston, a Kenyan coffee. What people should always remember about a great tasting coffee is it tastes best when mixed with good food. So I would say to drink a good coffee rather than go to a pure coffee shop, go to a place that sells good food and also serves coffee.”