Sunday, July 21, 2024

Exploring Nigeria’s Home Grown Coffee Culture

Africa’s Coffee culture is certainly growing and evolving from the place where coffee is merely used as a stimulant to keep awake to a place where coffee is skillfully brewed and savoured.

That’s why I was particularly excited when I got the privilege to speak with and spend some time with Princess Adeyinka Tekena, who is the founder of Happy Coffee, a Nigerian brand that promotes domestically grown coffee.

She is one of those who are passionate about growing and promoting Home-grown Coffee in Africa and specifically in Nigeria.

What is the future of Nigerian coffee and how quickly is Coffee culture evolving…?…

When it comes to drinking Coffee, Nigerians aren’t so much into it as as a hot beverage as they are in other parts of the world. We are mostly drinkers of Tea and Cocoa.

For the year 2023 it was forecasted that 40% of all Nigeria’s non-alcoholic drink expenditure will go towards both these products.

In contrast, coffee was to account for only 2.5%, even though the retail value of coffee has nearly tripled since 2010 to $28 million in 2019.

That being said, Instant Coffee products currently dominate the Nigerian market.

According to Industry analysts, about 75% of Nigerian coffee consumers drink Nescafé instant coffee amongst other less popular brands. This is often bought from roadside kiosks, or the supermarkets for home use.

But this too is gradually changing….

Our first stop was at the Happy Coffee Roastery where the Coffee Bean Magic happens. But first of all, we wanted to get to know Princess Adeyinka, Founder and CEO of Happy Coffee… what inspired her to take this route and how far she is taking this venture.

She recounted her experience and how she got started being vitally involved in the Homegrown Coffee value chain.

Nigeria has been ranked 98th within the group of 144 countries we follow in terms of interest rate on total coffee consumption.

Roughly 90% of Nigeria’s coffee is of the Robusta type which is also mostly grown in the Mambilla Plateau of Sardauna. Sadly it is not a main resource for Export and has also reduced drastically in recent time.

Prince Yinka says 20 states in Nigeria are currently growing coffee and many of the farms in these areas have combined their resources and work together in hopes of making a profit from a dying resource in their area.

That being said, there is a growing Nigerian demand for freshly brewed coffee, especially among the young middle class and the well-traveled.

Coffee consumption in Nigeria rose by more than 20% between 2010 and 2015. In 2020, Euromonitor predicted that Nigerians would drink more than 1,000 tons of coffee in 2020, about 23% higher than the previous year.

Next we spoke with Ifeoma Arua who is a Barrista and also Happy Coffee’s Consumer Experience and Retail Team Lead. She took the time to tell us and of course show us how exactly things work at the Rostery…the entire process…

Probably the most important tool within a coffee roastery is the roaster itself. These machines are designed to take the green coffee beans through the various stages of roasting, until they are ready to be packaged or ground. In many cases, roasteries are very small scale, located within a restaurant, coffee bar, or even the home as was in this case.

Having taken us through that process, Ifeoma then proceeded to brew us a hot cup of Coffee which we straight away began to savour…

The very next day we drove up the Happy Coffee experience Centre in Victoria Island Lagos…. This is where people would come to get and sometimes even brew by themselves a cup of hot steaming Coffee or Cocoa. I was already past noon, so there weren’t many people there.

Regardless, Ifeoma Arua, Happy Coffee’s Consumer Experience and Retail Team Lead was very welcoming as she showed us what happens there. She also answered all our questions…

Then it was time to say Goodbye… we had earned a lot, our perception on homegrown coffee had completely changed. We had more appreciation for the entire process and the Coffee production value Chain.

{Written By Zoe Okafor}

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