Demand for coffee soars in China where imports of the brown bean have nearly tripled in recent years.
Most coffee beans come to the world market from African countries such as Ivory Coast, but few companies roast and package them locally.
However, things started to change slowly and some of the Robusta variety is now being processed for local consumption.
“International brands are coming to Ivory Coast. They have understood and realised the potential of this market because we are having a dynamic boom in our economy which attracts a lot of people,” says Fabienne Dervain of Couleur Cafe Abidjan.
Dervain is selling quality Ivorian coffee processed in Abidjan to wealthy Ivorians. She believes that if it is prepared and blended correctly, it is far superior to any other variety of coffee. It is also more affordable.
Bakayako Lamine, an Ivorian coffee brewer, says: “[Ours is] a type of coffee that is a bit bitter and coarse and yet so flavourful. It’s good.”
Famous coffee brands are also increasingly mixing Ivorian coffee with the more expensive and harder to find Arabica variety.
Arabica is considered to be smoother with complex flavours, but it is a more fragile plant. Robusta makes up about 30 percent of global coffee production.