Togo Coffee: Is There Hope For The Future Of The Industry?
Togo, or the Togolese Republic, is a small country in West Africa with an equally small coffee history. The first Togolese coffee beans were cultivated just 100 years ago. Since then, coffee production hasn’t really taken off, despite the success of its Robusta variety. In fact, it’s got worse. However, sometimes things get much worse before they get better.
Our Togo coffee guide will explore the ups and downs of this country’s coffee industry.
A Complete Guide To The Togo Coffee Region
Here we’ll detail the brief history of coffee in Togo featuring its pressing problems, the major Rubusta coffee-producing regions, and the most common coffee processing methods.
Togo Coffee History
Togo is located in the Gulf of Guinea bordered by Benin, Burkina, and Ghana.
Togo’s biggest revenue is from cocoa, cotton, and coffee exports to Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and Poland.
In the 1920s, Togo started cultivating coffee under colonial French rule. However, Togolese Republic coffee producers on small-size coffee farms have since faced numerous challenges to remain profitable over the decades. These entailed the after effects of Covid-19, ageing coffee trees, labour shortages, declining demand, and poor money management (1).
Domestic coffee consumption remains low because of a lack of technical and financial support.
Assistance from organizations like the PND, CCFCC, CRA/F, and IACO has fortunately helped.
Robusta is Togo’s largest export crop behind cotton. Togo coffee beans are commonly grown by smallholder farmers alongside cocoa.
The major producing areas are in the southwest of the country in the Agou, Kloto, Danyi, Amou-Okposo plateau, and Wawa regions.
These Southwest areas, and Central Togo, have the most optimal climate conditions for coffee production with more plateaus and mountainous terrain compared to the diverse Northern areas.
Coffee Processing Methods
The most common type of Togo coffee grown is an old Robusta variety locally referred to as Niaouli, which has bitter and earthy flavours. Coffee producers rely on both natural and washed processing methods.
How Can I Try Togo Coffee Beans In 2023?
Here’s the bad news. Unfortunately, you cannot try Togo coffee beans.
With all of Togo’s challenges, coffee shops and online markets are devoid of Togolese coffee.
The good news is this year, Togo is starting to gain more recognition and support. One promising example is from the Togolese company KingCafé. It has just signed partnerships for patent sharing and quality roasting improvement with two Italian companies, Veronesi and Morola (2).
More great news from last year put a Togolese centre stage to head the International Coffee Organization (3).
As Togo gets more aid for their struggling coffee industry, you’ll get to try some Togo coffee. Here are some other stellar coffee beans for you to try for now.
Togo has been struggling with coffee production, to say the least. They may be in a worse spot now, but the world is starting to take notice and extend a helping hand. With any luck, you’ll be enjoying a hot beverage of Togo coffee in a coffee shop in the near future.
Yes, Cameroon coffee is good. Its wide range of flavours will appeal to anyone’s palate. Their Arabica beans are lighter and sweeter, with a floral and fruity acidity. Their Robusta variety is more prevalent and grows all over the country with an unmatched rich nuttiness. Read more about coffee from Cameroon and the best beans to try from this coffee-producing region.
Ethiopia has the biggest coffee-growing industry in Africa. This makes sense given that Ethiopia is the birthplace of Arabica coffee beans. One of the most notable offerings from this region is Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. These beans yield quality cups of coffee that are balanced with the perfect ratio of sweet and spicy plus a one-of-a-kind aroma (4).
There were 2.4 million tonnes of Togo coffee beans produced in 2020. This is a steep drop from the 6.9 million tonnes of Togo coffee beans produced in 2017. It is currently ranked 40th in global coffee production.
- Gakuo, P. (2022, December 20). Can coffee production become more important for Togo? Retrieved February 28, 2023, from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2022/12/coffee-production-in-togo/
- Food Business Africa. (2023, January 19). Togolese coffee processor KingCafé receives technical support from two Italian companies. Retrieved March 1, 2023, from https://www.foodbusinessafrica.com/kingcafe-receives-technical-support-from-two-italian-companies/
- Dossavi, A. R. (2022, October 11). A Togolese has been selected to head the International Coffee Organization, ICO. Retrieved March 1, 2023, from https://www.togofirst.com/en/agriculture/1110-10757-a-togolese-has-been-selected-to-head-the-international-coffee-organization-ico
- African Coffee Club. (2019, June 12). 10 Highly Rated African Coffees You Probably Don’t Know About. Retrieved March 1, 2023, from https://www.africancoffeeclub.com/blog/2019/6/11/10-highly-rated-african-coffee-brands-you-probably-dont-know-about