Gabon Coffee Guide: Everything You Need To Know
Gabon, or the Gabonese Republic, is a country in Central Africa located on the west coast. It is known for being one of the biggest producers of manganese globally. While its overall revenue mainly comes from petroleum and mineral deposits, its coffee market has barely scraped by in the last thirty years. Is there any hope of trying Gabon coffee beans today?
You’ll find the answer to that question, and much more, in our Gabon coffee guide.
A Complete Guide To The Gabon Coffee Region
We’ll start with a short history of Arabica and Robusta coffee in Gabon, identify key market trends, and predict valuable market insights.
Gabon Coffee History
Gabon is located next to the Gulf of Guinea, not too far from Togo, and the South Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Gabonese roast coffee market is more successful with foreign leading market companies – largely the American market and the European market – than with its neighbours or other African countries.
Gabon’s largest revenue comes from exporting resources and power, specifically manganese, petroleum, and timber to the U.S. and France.
Gabon coffee production never really took off, and what little remains today is struggling due to a decrease in Gabon agriculture as a whole. The agricultural decline began when better job acquisition and education opportunities arose in urban areas. Interest in country life fell, leading to numerous coffee farms being neglected and abandoned.
Government assistance in Gabon has been starkly limited, particularly in its coffee sector (1). Although Gabon gained independence from France in 1960, it retains the profound influence of its former colonial French rule culturally, economically, and politically.
Gabon exports a small amount of Robusta coffee, though the effects of Covid-19 have limited the industry.
In 2020, Gabon exported [US]$76 in Coffee, making it the 187th largest exporter of Coffee in the world. In the same year, Coffee was the 435th most exported product in Gabon.
Belgium currently receives the bulk of Gabon’s limited international trade coffee exports (2).
Hope For The Future
There is promising news, however. Higher coffee prices and coffee production demand globally have piqued interest in a proper investment strategy for Gabon coffee. A completely new market for organic coffee and sustainably produced coffee is being explored. Additionally, wet-processed, sun-dried Robusta coffee in Gabon is being reworked to be considered good enough as specialty coffee market material.
Gabon dreams of bringing its production from less than 500 tonnes currently to 5,000 tonnes by 2030.
Gabon is building a partnership with Caistab to improve farming practices, upgrade supply chain management, and stimulate local interest in Gabonese roast coffee consumption. This effort is part of a market expansion strategy to establish Gabon coffee as a habitual purchase exclusively for its citizens in the retail market (3).
This coffee sector revitalization started with coffee from Southeast Gabon in the Haut-Ogooué province on the Batéké plateau heights.
The goal is to prepare this coffee by advertising it to locals before expanding its promotion internationally.
How Can I Try Gabon Coffee Beans In The UK In 2023?
You can’t try Gabon coffee, sadly. Coffee drinkers won’t be able to try delicious coffee beans from Gabon in locally owned coffee shops or even with just a few clicks from online retailers.
Changes are brewing, and hopefully, Gabon coffee will soon be more readily available. But there is still much work to be done before ground coffee beans, instant coffee, ready-to-drink coffee beverages, whole coffee beans, and other specialized coffee products are exported from Gabon. Try some of these coffees from Africa in the meantime.
The Gabonese roast coffee market lags far behind other major global coffee-producing countries due to its declining agricultural practices, insufficient government support, and the profitability of its other resources. As Gabon revamps its Robusta coffee quality and builds connections with supportive partners, we see tremendous potential in recent and future development.
Yes, Gabon is one of the richest countries in Africa, ranking fifth. However, this depends on the measurement used to assess its financial success. Out of all the African countries, Gabon ranks third by GDP per Capita and fifth by GNI per Capita. Globally, Gabon’s GNI is just under a tenth of North America’s average GNI (4).
Brazil is the best producer of coffee by volume, exporting 42.4 million 60-kg bags in 2021. It makes up about 40% of all coffee production in the global economy. Brazil’s spectacular coffee market is due to its ideal climate, excellent infrastructure, well-established growing and processing methods, and government support.
African coffee is so good because Africa is the homeland of both Arabica and Robusta coffee, blessed with naturally ideal growing conditions. This long history has resulted in an incredible diversity of coffee varieties. Many African coffees are brightly acidic with prominent floral or fruity flavours.
- Mobility Foresights. (n.d.). Gabon Coffee Market 2022-2030. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from https://mobilityforesights.com/product/gabon-coffee-market/
- OEC. (n.d.). Coffee in Gabon. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from https://oec.world/en/profile/bilateral-product/coffee/reporter/gab
- CEMAC ECO Finance. (n.d.). Gabon seeks ways to promote Coffee production and sales. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from https://cemac-eco.finance/gabon-seeks-ways-to-promote-coffee-production-and-sales/
- World Population Review. (n.d.). Richest African Countries 2023. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/richest-african-countries