Cameroon Coffee Beans: The Ultimate Guide
Cameroon has had its ups and downs in the coffee production realm. It was once one of the greatest producers of coffee. Now it ranks, still impressively, as 21st on the global stage thanks to the determination of smallholder farmers.
This article explores Cameroon coffee beans with the ultimate guide.
A Complete Guide To The Cameroon Coffee Industry
This guide will take you through the Cameroon coffee region in detail. Read on to learn about its history, growing conditions, and flavour profiles.
Cameroon is a Central African country on the Gulf of Guinea. Cameroon’s coffee production began when German colonisers set up coffee farms in the 1880s.
Currently, Cameroon is the 21st largest coffee producer in the world, with an annual coffee yield of 34,000 tonnes.
Coffee production in Cameroon has fallen drastically in the past three decades. This is largely due to governmental interference, market liberalization, and low productivity. A worldwide recession, crop competition, ageing coffee plants, poor management, and a lack of good soil health and fertilizer supply have also contributed to the decline.
Cameroon is ranked 21st among coffee-producing countries. Most Cameroonian coffees currently for sale come from the Boyo Hills in Bamenda, Cameroon. However, Cameroonian production of coffee did not start there (1).
Trial coffee farms [started] in Victoria, Ebolowa, Nkongsamba, and Dschang. Production later expanded to other regions, including Yokadouma, Abong-Mbang, Doumé, Lomié, and Akonolinga.
Robusta dominates Arabica coffee in the Cameroon coffee industry, making up approximately 85% of coffee beans grown in the country. Robusta coffee is mainly grown in the Littoral provincial area and in the Adamawa, East, Southwest, and West provinces. Cameroon’s Arabica trees grow in the Western highlands and the Northwest province. The most common Arabica varietals are Bourbon, Typica, and Java – varietals frequently used for gourmet whole coffee beans.
Coffee Tasting Notes
Cameroonian coffee has a wide range of flavours. The Robusta beans are balanced, chocolatey, earthy, and have a distinct nutty taste. The Arabica beans deliver acidic, fruity, floral, and sweet notes.
Cameroon coffee is harvested from September to December, after which it is processed to prepare it for export. Natural processing is the most popular method used in Cameroon coffee farming, according to local coffee expert Matti Foncha (2).
Many farmers are currently sticking to natural processing due to instability in the region. It’s very difficult to facilitate washed coffee processing in a conflict zone, as it requires constant attention.
Natural processing, when done with proper care, can produce sweet and complex Cameroon coffee. However, it is less consistent than washed processing because it is more influenced by climate.
Cameroon Coffee Reviews: The 3 Best Cameroon Coffees In 2023
Home Grounds has compiled a review of the best Cameroonian coffees in 2023. They span a variety of roast levels and flavour profiles to appeal to every kind of coffee lover.
|Little River Roasting Co. Cameroon Boyo Coffee||
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|Aroma Ridge Coffee Roasters Cameroon Boyo Peaberry Coffee||
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|Ethical Addictions Cameroon Boyo||
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For over two decades, Little River Roasting Co. has partnered with Matti Foncha, Cameroonian coffee expert and President of the Africa Coffee Trading Group. He initiated the Cameroon Boyo trading model to boost coffee production. This was established to unify the efforts of coffee farmers to produce higher-quality coffees (3).
Cameroon Boyo Coffee is situated in Northwest Cameroon’s Boyo region and is owned and operated by coffee farmers. This light roast is exported directly to US-based roasters. It is a naturally processed coffee with the characteristic Cameroonian earthiness, fruity plum notes, and mellow tea quality. Try it as a pour over to enjoy its subtle flavours.
Roast level: Medium
- Tasting notes: Berry, Chocolatey, Earthy, Full-bodied
- Grind: Ground, Whole Bean
Aroma Ridge Coffee comes from a family-owned estate at a high elevation of over 1,500 metres. The coffee plants grow in nutrient-dense volcanic soils with ample sun exposure. The consistent sunlight optimizes the sugar content of the coffee berries grown there.
The Cameroon Boyo Peaberry Coffee is a mellow and full-bodied medium roast bursting with berry, chocolatey, and earthy tasting notes. It yields a delicious shot of espresso or bold Moka pot brew.
The coffee is processed by hand, so every bean is guaranteed to have been carefully selected. The farmers of this small farmer-owned property carry massive amounts of coffee on their heads while crossing from one side of the farm to the other. Now that’s commitment!
Ethical Addictions has been working with regional coffee expert Matti Foncha for the past five years. And as with Little River Roasting, his expertise has garnered some delicious coffee.
The Ethical Addictions Cameroon Boyo coffee is of the Java II varietal, grown at an altitude of 1,600 metres. The coffee beans were medium-roasted to bring out the inherent dark chocolate and red fruit tasting notes. We think the robust flavours and medium body make for a fantastic French press brew.
Cameroon has had a challenging coffee history and still faces hurdles to becoming a modern specialty coffee nation. But the climate and geography of the region hold tremendous potential.
We’ve recommended three delicious Cameroonian coffees from the Boyo Hills with diverse roasts and flavour profiles. And we’re excited to see what’s next from this emerging African coffee growing region.
Ethiopia is the country that has the best coffee in Africa. It is most popular for its Arabica varietals Harar, Sidamo, and Yirgacheffe. Ethiopia is the largest coffee producer in the African continent.
Ethiopian coffee is special due to its higher-than-average acidity and intricate flavour profile when compared with other African countries. These light to medium-bodied coffee beans yield wonderful coffees with elegant wine tastes. Ethiopian coffee beans are frequently naturally processed, which infuses them with more fruity notes.
Yes, Robusta is high in caffeine compared to Arabica coffee. On average, Arabica coffee is 1.5% caffeine while Robusta coffee is 2.4% caffeine. So if you plan to sample some Cameroonian Robusta beans, be prepared for an extra pep in your step!
- Gakuo, P. (2021, September 8). Coffee production in Cameroon. Retrieved November 15, 2022, from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2021/09/coffee-production-in-cameroon/
- Ospina, A. K. M. (2018, December 18). Processing 101: What Is Washed Coffee & Why Is It So Popular? Retrieved November 17, 2022, from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2018/12/processing-101-what-is-washed-coffee-why-is-it-so-popular/
- Little River Roasting Co. (2022). Cameroon Boyo Coffee, Cameroon. Retrieved November 17, 2022, from https://www.littleriverroasting.com/partner-coffee-farms/cameroon-boyo-coffee-cameroon