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King Jika Jika: The legend

A founder member of the Glorieuse Island branch of the league of Empire loyalists - King Jika Jika always remained unimpressed with Italian attempts to introduce pasta to North East African cuisine. At the age of thirty he set sail in search of decadence beyond the horizon. Together with his interpreter Venus Stevens they visited King Mutsukito of Japan, Viceroy Li of China the King of Siam, Pope Leo XIII and Haile Selassie at his place of exile in Bath.

He also called on Queen Victoria, Mahatma Ghandi and strolled up Table Mountain with Jan Smuts. After a full ten years of exploration the King declared that he had enough experience of dull table companions and bad coffee and they set sail for home.

 

Very little accurate information exists about King Jika Jika. Some say that he was secretly "Her Majesties observer of paranormal activities" but he is better known for being a coffee planter, amateur ethnologist, entomologist, absinthe distiller, photographer, treasure hunter, and renowned barista. The home office denies that they ever employed such an individual and all King Jika Jika's own records were destroyed in the hurricane that devastated Glorieuse half a century ago. Only the album bequeathed to his granddaughter is in existence and contains mainly photographic illustrations of his travels.

He is credited with various discoveries including the elapsed Zanzibar hallucinogenic mushroom and twenty-eight types of heliotropic plants in different parts of the world. He smuggled twenty-eight varieties of coffee to his island and is credited with brewing the best cup of coffee south of Somalia.

The King, managed, by some obscure means, to acquire the first espresso machine to arrive in Abyssinia. He was appalled by the fact that Mussolini used second-hand mustard gas left over from the First World War to defeat Haile Selassie's barefoot troops.

The tale of Coffee interestingly enough starts on the African continent. One thousand one hundred and fifty eight years ago a goat herder named Kaldi noticed that his goats became frisky after eating the berries of an Ethiopian shrub. He ate a few and soon felt the frisky feeling experienced by his goats.

Half a century later the first coffee shop opened in Istanbul. Others followed including "Iva Han" the dirtiest coffee shop in history. Coffee became so popular that a woman could file for divorce if she did not get her daily quota of coffee.

Eventually coffee reached Europe with the first coffeehouse opening in 1650. In England they were called "penny universities" as a penny was charged for admission and a cuppa. Edward Lloyd opened his coffeehouse forty years later and it eventually became Lloyd's of London, the insurance company. The word, "TIPS" was coined in this Establishment. A sign reading, "To Insure Prompt Service" encouraged those desiring prompt service and better seating to throw a coin into a cup. Charles II of England, another java-hater, banned coffee just before Christmas in 1675. He should have known better. There were already 3,000 coffee houses in his country. Widespread protests convinced Charles to rescind the ban within two weeks.

At this point in history, beer was the preferred drink at breakfast, but the Mayor of New York claimed Coffee was the breakfast drink of choice and slowly world followed his advice. One of Europe's first coffeehouses, Cafe Greco, opens in Rome in 1750. At the same time coffee shops in Paris started encouraging the addition of sugar to the brew. By 1763 Venice had over 2,000 coffee shops. At the turn of the last century the first commercial espresso machine was manufactured in Italy. Satori Kato invented instant coffee. Thirty years later the Brazilian government had a coffee surplus problem and the most evil step in the history of coffee occurred, the creation of powdered instant coffee.

King Jika Jika had an extended affair during his visit to Almondsbury, a small town near Bristol.

He met Princess Karabo who was five foot two, attractive, and wore a series of masks. She spoke no known language and so had to communicate mainly through gestures. The Worralls who she was lodging with had discovered with the help of a Portuguese sailor that she was a princess in her own land, the island of Javisu.

She had been abducted from her island home by sailors and, after a long and arduous journey, had escaped from her captors by jumping overboard in the English Channel and swimming to shore.

When the Worralls learned that Karabo was actually foreign royalty, they immediately announced her presence to the newspapers, and soon all of England knew about Princess Karabo. The Princess lived in a grand style, spending her days dancing, climbing trees, praying to her god, Sissa Tula, entertaining the visitors, and swimming naked in the Avon River.

This appealed to King Jika Jika as he had spent his youth swimming in the Indian Ocean. Soon the improbable couple were to be found leaping into the Avon each singing in their own peculiar language. Karabu is now buried in Bristol. Jika Jika met his end after a nasty encounter with one of his pet sharks off Glorieuse Island.

He is remembered for the famous line, "Give yourself a break and get what Coffee gives to you."

Jika Jika serving the best coffee in Bath.
Tel: 01225 429 903 : 4a Princes Buildings, George Street, Bath, BA1 2ED
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