Africa's coffee preparation

10 March 2021


Africa may be the most exciting coffee-producing continent in the world, boasting incredible variety, history, and high quality. Although nearly a dozen African countries produce coffee, accounting for 12 percent of global production, most are in bulk supply. Specialty-grade coffee, the focus here, is concentrated in East Africa.

Ethiopia, Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar, Burundi, Cameron, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sudan are among the top African countries producing high-quality coffee.
Each one of them exhibiting their own style of coffee preparations and ceremony. Take a look at the two most well-known coffee producers next to Ethiopian coffee:

1. Tanzania
Grown on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania specialty coffee has developed a reputation for bright, clean, medium-bodied, and complex cups. Though the Haya tribe is thought to have brought coffee to Tanzania from Ethiopia and today accounts for approximately 20 percent of the country’s export value.

The process starts with the beans being roasted in a clay pot over a tiny metal charcoal stove, the pungent smell mingling with the heady scents of lemongrass, cardamom, ginger, and mixed spice powders aromatizes the entire surrounding, after the roasting, the beans are ground and brewed in boiling water with cardamom seeds for 10 min then ground coffee is added, stir and boil for further 5 min. lastly, ground cardamom and ginger are added. After the coffee is taken from the stove, take out the cardamom seeds and distribute unfiltered on 6 small cups. Served with areca nut. and served to you in small delicate Arabic cups. The coffee ceremony takes approximately one hour.

1. Kenya
Ethiopia’s southern neighbor, Kenya, employs 6 million in the coffee industry. Unlike Ethiopia, it has a relatively short coffee-production history, dating back to the late 19th century. Much of which is grown at a high elevation around Mount Kenya.

Specialty Kenyan coffees tend to have a medium-to-full body, dazzling acidity, and characteristics that have been likened to black currant, plus tropical flavors, berry notes, and citrus undertones.

Kenyans themselves prefer tea to coffee, and it is only in the past few decades that coffee-drinking has begun to take hold in the region. The exception to this is Kahawa Chunghu, also known as Kenyan Bitter Coffee, which has traditionally been sipped from miniature cups by elderly Swahili men.

The beverage is typically brewed over a charcoal stove in a tall brass kettle and it derives its bitterness through the inclusion of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and/or other spices. It is often served with dates or other sweet treats to balance the palate.

1. Mowery, L., 2020. A Beginner's Guide to African Coffee Varieties and Flavors.Available at> [Accessed 9 March 2021]

2. Bunna 2016. Coffee in Tanzania Information, preparation, recommendation Bunna Available at> [Accessed 9 March 2021]

3. Home Grounds. Kenyan coffee Guide: Buying and Brewing Tips. Available at> [Accessed 9 March 2021]


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