Best Coffees of Africa – Emerging Markets African Coffees

by Dan Harrington on May 2, 2011

Check out these great coffees from Africa that you may not have tried. Increasing Arabica production in predominantly Robusta growing regions will likely bring new coffees into the specialty coffee market.

Ghana CoffeeGhana is attempting to double its coffee production to 3,000 metric tons and expand its coffee acreage to about five thousand acres. Currently Ghana’s coffee crop is predominantly the coffee plant varietal Robusta though an increasing amount of the higher grade Arabica may be cultivated in the future.

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Kenya AA CoffeeEthiopian Yirgacheffe CoffeeTanzania Peaberry Coffee

Brazil Santos CoffeePeruvian CoffeeNicaraguan CoffeeMexican Chiapas Coffee

Liberian Coffee – Coffees of LiberiaCoffee production in Liberia was predominantly the Liberica varietal but this declined as Robusta and Arabica became more popular. Though coffee production is hindered by lack of investment and infrastructure as well as coffee planting and processing technologies and increasing amount of Robusta plants that were previously neglected are now providing good yields under forest shade producing organic coffee beans.

Central African Republic CoffeeThough current coffee production in the Central African Republic is only about one-third of production in 1992, coffee is one of the country’s main cash crops for export along with tobacco and cotton. The country has plateaus at elevations from 1,600 feet above sea level to about 3,600 feet above sea level.

Gabon Coffee

Gabon is located in west central Africa and is bordered by the Republic of Congo on the south and east, Cameroon to the north and Equatorial Guinea to the northwest. Also to the west of Gabon is the Gulf of Guinea which is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean.

Gabon’s relatively small population (about 1.5 million people) along with an abundance of natural resources and foreign private investment have made Gabon one of the more prosperous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Gabon’s coffee industry has struggled during the last three decades due to the country’s focus on oil and mineral reserves to generate money for the economy with little government support for coffee production.

When worldwide coffee prices dropped significantly from 2000 to 2004 many potential coffee farmers moved to urban areas and the country’s coffee production as well as the quality of the coffee beans decreased markedly. Many Gabon coffee farms were completely abandoned while others were neglected (e.g., no fertilizers).

Coffees of Gabon continued:

Most Gabon coffee production comes from small farms. Recent investments in coffee growing in Gabon is a response to an increasing world demand and higher coffee prices that provide incentive for the needed investments.

Initiatives in Gabon are also striving to raise the quality of the country’s Robusta coffee to a level that will allow it to enter the specialty coffee market. The Robusta coffee is wet processed and sun dried.

Also increasing is the production of Fair Trade Coffee. Gabon’s climate allows for two coffee harvests each year.

Emerging Markets African Coffees – Best Coffees of Africa continued:

Sierra Leone CoffeeCoffee and cocoa are the major cash crops of Sierra Leone. Coffee is grown  primarily in the tropical rainforest regions in Sierra Leone’s Southern and Eastern provinces. Despite numerous problems hindering increased coffee production in Sierra Leone, if the recent steep rises in coffee prices may lead to investments in improvements to revive the industry.

Madagascar CoffeeThe lower grade Robusta coffee beans are the predominant varietal grown in Madagascar though although there is an increasing amount of higher grade Arabica being grown also. USAID efforts have strived to help improve the Madagascar coffee industry including training and better processing methods as well as roasting methods.

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