Coffee fits snugly into my and many other people’s daily routines. Americans alone drink 400 million cups of coffee per day, and import more than $4 billion worth of coffee every year.
With so much demand, there are many coffees grown, ground, and sold globally. However if you are looking for high quality coffee, one of the best to try is African coffee.
Here we share 5 of the best African coffee beans from one of the top African coffee brands. Short on time? Click here to see our absolute favourite African beans from this list.
Why African Coffee
African Coffee is brewed around the world and is in high demand due to its richness, unique flavor notes, and the skilled farmers who tend to the crop.
With much of the African continent within the “Bean Belt”, many countries have the perfect growing conditions for coffee plants. It is no surprise it coffee production is an important industry for many African nations including Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
High elevations, volcanic soil and temperate climates result in bright, acidic and fruit-toned coffees unique to the region and well loved by many coffee drinkers.
It is worth noting Africa is a HUGE continent, bigger than China, India, the contiguous U.S. and most of Europe—combined! Interestingly despite the continent’s size, Ethiopia is the only African country in the top 10 coffee producing countries in the world.
However, due to its size, there are regions specialize in different varieties of coffee beans, many considered some of the best in the world. We will be highlighting some of the most popular and delicious regions on the map of Africa!
Best African Coffee Beans
|African Coffee||Coffee Type||Roast and Flavor||Price|
|Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee||Medium roast with floral tones||Check|
|Cameroon Peaberry Coffee||Medium roast rich and earthy flavor||Check|
|Kenya AA Coffee||Medium roast with light and delicate structure||Check|
|Malawi Peaberry Coffee||Medium roast with delicate and sweet flavor||Check|
|Tanzania AA Coffee||Medium roast with sweet acidity||Check|
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee Beans
Ethiopia is known as the birthplace of the coffee bean. The first Arabica coffee plants were cultivated here and farmers continue to harvest the bulk of the crop from wild coffee plants as they have for centuries.
Drinking coffee is deeply embedded in Ethiopian tradition and while Ethiopia is one of the largest coffee producing countries in Africa, the locals consume about half the coffee produced each year.
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee is considered to be one of the best Ethiopian coffee beans and some of the best coffee from Africa.
This Ethiopian coffee soars above its rivals with bright levels of acidity, robust fruity wine-like tones, and earthy aroma.
CUP NOTES: Sweet, deeply and complexly fruit-toned.
FLAVOR NOTES: Very ripe strawberries, pineapple guava, dark chocolate, distinct lavender-like flowers, aromatic cedar in aroma and cup. Roundly sweet in structure, with a gentle and pleasing bitter edge. Full, plush mouthfeel. Lavender and chocolate dominate in a faintly and pleasantly spirits-tinged finish.
Cameroon Peaberry Coffee Beans
Since Cameroon became an independent state, coffee has played a key role in the country’s economy.
Cameroon is on the western side of Africa, which makes it different from the popular East African coffee of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania.
Cameroon is also unique in that the coffee is grown at just 5,000 feet above sea level, lower than many others, and is bathed in sub-saharan sunlight which produces different African coffee characteristics.
The sun helps the coffee cherries mature quickly, which allows the berries to attain their optimal sugar content.
Only 5 percent of the coffee bean crop are Cameroon Peaberry coffee beans, making this coffee very rare and exclusive.
CUP NOTES: Full-bodied with rich, earthy flavors.
FLAVOR NOTES: Full-bodied, earthy, chocolate, toffee, caramel, stone fruit.
Kenya AA Coffee Beans
Kenya AA coffee is one of the most popular African coffees and for good reason!
The Eastern African Kenyan community and government rally around the coffee trade as it is the nation’s third largest export.
The government pays farmers quality prices for a good quality coffee crop which in turn yields some of the most flavorful and best coffee beans in the world.
The Kenyan coffee board grades their coffees on quality and size of the beans. Kenya’s “AA” signifies that the coffee is made from the largest and most dense beans.
These beans naturally contain large amounts of aromatic oils that enhance the flavor and aromas that so many coffee connoisseurs crave. The secret to these large, flavorful beans is the area in which they are grown.
The East African terrain of Kenya is made up of volcanic, loamy soil. The richness of the soil provides fertile ground for the cultivation of excellent coffee. The Kenya AA beans are grown 4900-6800 feet above sea level.
The unique combination of mild climate, nutritious soil, bright sunshine, and seasonal rain serve to produce some of the best Kenya coffee beans unique to the region. The whole bean coffee is a great choice for pour over coffee brewing.
CUP NOTES: Crisply sweet/savory; delicate yet resonant.
FLAVOR NOTES: Raspberry, cranberry, fresh-cut redwood, alyssum-like flowers in aroma and cup. Sweet and lightly tart in structure with a savory edge. Light but impressively plump and satiny in mouthfeel.
Malawi Peaberry Coffee Beans
Malawi Peaberry is similar to other Eastern African coffee, like the Kenya AA, in that it is smooth and full bodied. Except this coffee is made using just peaberry coffee beans. This results in a softer, more floral flavor.
Malawi coffee is grown in high elevation areas and grown slowly, allowing the beans to fully mature. Mature beans have a creamier and less acidic taste than neighboring beans.
The peaberries are special as they make up just 5 percent of a harvest. They are hand picked and separated from normal Malawi coffee beans.
Instead of the coffee cherry having two beans inside of it, it only has one. Thus, making it look like a little pea – which gives it the name peaberry. It’s truly one of Mother Nature’s greatest accidents.
CUP NOTES: Delicate, sweet and shyly bright
FLAVOR NOTES: Soft floral tones and notes of spice and chocolate with a caramelized tangerine zest.
Tanzania AA Coffee Beans
Three of the most well known Tanzanian coffee types are Moshi, Arusha, and Kilimanjaro.
All of these African coffee beans are grown atop the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro near the Tanzania border with Kenya.
The flavors are similar to that of the Kenyan coffee as they are medium bodied and display a creamy but bright and vibrant flavor.
Tanzanian peaberry coffee beans and Tanzania AA coffee are two of the best African coffee beans to buy for a taste of traditional exotic Tanzanian coffee.
CUP NOTES: Smooth buttery body, dry finish, delicate sweet acidity.
FLAVOR NOTES: Sharp, winy acidity typical of Africa and Arabia coffees with a medium to full body.
Notice a link between the best tasting African beans?
All of the best coffee in Africa is grown at high elevations on rich volcanic soils.
If you enjoy trying different coffee beans, single origin and African coffee bean blends are a must. They have a distinct flavor different from other famous regions such as Kona, Hawaii and are particularly great for pour over and french press coffee brewing and for drinking black.
Volcanica Coffee strives to roast the best gourmet coffee beans from all over the world. They travel far and wide to make them available to coffee lovers the world over and are one of the best African coffee brands.Check out some of our favorites from Volcanica Coffee here.
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