Arabica Cameroon coffee is known for its mellow and chocolaty rich flavor with total caffeine boosts not forgetting the most pleasant aroma ever. It is blend with varieties from other coffee producing nations to produce top brands like the African safari coffee. It was ranked as 31st coffee producing country in the world in 2014.
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Cameroon traditionally grew the low grade Robusta coffee in large quantities. In around 1990s, the organic and good quality Arabica was introduced via the initiatives of the farmer Cameroon corporations to maximize on the returns of the green coffee Cameroon farmers. The coffee is grown in almost all the provinces apart from the north. Arabica coffee is found in the east, south eastern and west province. Cameroon coffee is known for its caffeine. Climatic conditions like ample rainfall and the dark rich nutritious volcanic soils favor good quality coffee production in Cameroon.
The major drawback in coffee production in Cameroon is that they do not have advanced coffee processing techniques and thus export all their coffee partially processed.
Types of coffee grown in Cameroon
Arabica have two species namely: java and typica (Jamaica). Java was very famous especially after the realization that the variety gave protection from the berry diseases in coffee plantations. Vast of the coffee exported to other countries was in commercial grade. Arabica coffee grown in Boyo provided a special grade which had a significant resistance from common coffee diseases plus its yields were high per crop. It is also known for its good quality, pleasant aroma and the full caffeine.
Majority of this coffee is grown in the highlands of Boyo where there is high elevation, dark and very nutritious soils and sufficient rainfall that ensure harvesting of high quantities of coffee.
This is the common species grown in Cameroon. It was traditionally the only variety produce in Cameroon on high quantities before the 1990s. This variety is grown primarily in every province of the nation in exemption of the north. It is a coastal region favorite.
Conditions for coffee growing in Cameroon
Moderate rainfall- The east and west and northwest regions receive sufficient relief rainfall for Arabica coffee production while the coastal region experience conventional rainfall that favor Robusta variety.
High elevations with rich and dark fertile volcanic soils favor the Arabica coffee production.
Elements of Cameroon coffee
- Good quality
- Full body flavor
- Well smooth-edged finish
- Chocolate taste
- Caffeine boost
- Pleasant aroma
Production of Cameroon coffee
Only about five percent of the total coffee production (both Arabica and the Robusta), is processed locally in the few coffee washing mills found in Cameroon. As a result Cameroon coffee that is exported is usually partially processed and thus sold at a lower price since it requires further advanced processing including branding, blending and so on. The government has sought out experts in Brazil to improve coffee yield and production in the country.
Processing of Cameroon coffee
The main method used to process coffee in Cameroon is the wetting process.
- Washing by farmers method- coffee is harvested via hand picking by the farmers and then it is de-pulped. This coffee then goes through fermented was and afterwards dried. The dried product is usually sold to undergo further processing.
- Full washing by centralized mills- the coffee beans are washed by mills which are found in large stations. The product is still under processed and need further processing. A very little percentage of coffee export is a product of these mills.
- Micro washing is a more advanced method for coffee processing in the micro stations.
Management of coffee in Cameroon
Coffee farming is put under ministry of the agriculture and the rural development and also the research and scientific innovations ministry to improve and monitor coffee production. Marketing and selling of the Cameroon coffee is under the responsibility of national coffee and cocoa board in the country (NCCB) which is over sighted by the trading ministry.
Though the government has put much effort in terms of resources to educate and support farmers coffee in Cameroon is declining slowly for the last two decades. Majority of coffee producers are the old insufficiently educated (formal education) men. This has resulted to low yields and lack of advanced and new techniques. However the government is encouraging the youth who are well educated to join the coffee production industries. Projects are also being put in place to encourage women to venture in to the coffee and other crops production. This has impacted positively in the industry since there is an upturn of the farmers joining the coffee growing in Cameroon.
Seven regions where coffee is grown in Cameroon
The high plateaus where Arabica is farmed are; Bamileke and bamaoun. The dominant Robusta is grown mostly in the average elevated parts of western region and Abang Mbang region.
Boyo Cameroon trading
This is an approach that has participated greatly in encouraging young people to join coffee growing. It is a collaborative process in the Boyo region by the farmers to support their production and jointly sell their produce.
Boyo is characterized by favorable climate conditions like moderate rainfall, fertile volcanic soils and high elevation. The variety grown here is the organic good value Arabica coffee. The special product which is known for resisting rust and berry disease is the peaberry Boyo coffee.
Farmers in this trade see coffee production as a more than just a fair practice (fair trade). For this reason losses and profits of the business is shared amongst themselves. They are able to give grate and valuable coffee without charging their customers highly.
Improving Arabica coffee production in Cameroon
Pulp coffee berry got after de- pulping the coffee berry harvested via hand picking is combined with the soil in which the coffee trees are planted. This assisted in adding value to the soil to boost the production by the coffee trees.
The government is also encouraging farmers to use new farming methods and practices to improve their yield and quality.
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