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Reviving Nigerian Coffee: A History and Hope for the Future

The History and Current State of Nigerian Coffee

Coffee is a staple ingredient in many households around the world, but when it comes to Nigeria, this statement doesnt hold true. While the country has a rich history of coffee production dating back to the 19th century, the industry is currently facing many challenges that have resulted in a decline in production.

In this article, we will explore the history of Nigerian coffee, its current state, and the factors responsible for its present reality.

History of Nigerian Coffee

The history of coffee in Nigeria goes back to the 19th century when it was introduced by the missionaries. It quickly became a primary source of income for local farmers and an essential export commodity.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Nigerian government recognized the potential of coffee production and pushed for its expansion. Today, Nigeria has two major types of coffee, Arabica and Robusta.

While Arabica is grown predominantly in the highlands in the eastern region of the country, Robusta is grown in the middle belt and coastal regions. Initially, Arabica was the more popular of the two varieties, but the cheaper and more robust Robusta soon became the most grown.

In the past, Nigeria had a thriving coffee industry with the potential to become Africas largest producer and exporter of coffee. However, the combination of factors such as a neglectful government, lack of infrastructure, and poor management practices led to the industry’s decline.

The Current State of Nigerian Coffee

In recent decades, Nigerian coffee production has experienced a significant decline. Where the country once produced over 120,000 tons of coffee in the 1970s, the current production levels have dwindled to less than 10,000 tons.

Despite the decreasing numbers, coffee remains a lucrative crop that is cultivated in 14 states across the country. One of the most significant challenges facing the Nigerian coffee industry is the depleted and aging plantations.

Much of the coffee grown in the country is from plants that have been in existence for decades, leading to a decline in productivity and yield. The over-reliance on the same plantation has also caused soil depletion, which makes it difficult for the coffee crop to grow healthily.

Additionally, there is a lack of skilled manpower that can help cultivate the crop to a high degree of quality.

Most Popular Coffee in Nigeria

Nigerians love their coffee, but that doesn’t change the fact that most of the coffee consumed in the country is imported. Nescafe dominates the market with its instant coffee, which is affordable and readily available.

While Nescafe is the most popular, there is also an increasing demand for specialty and artisanal coffee, which has been gaining popularity in recent years. The major types of coffee cultivated in Nigeria are Arabica and Robusta.

Of the two, Robusta is the most popular and most grown, maybe due to its ability to grow in a range of soils and across different regions in Nigeria. Arabica, on the other hand, has a more delicate flavor profile and requires specific environmental conditions to grow optimally.

While locally grown coffee is available, most of the coffee consumed in Nigeria is imported. This is due to the difficulty local farmers face in getting their crop to market and the limited resources to manage the production and supply chain.


In conclusion, the Nigerian coffee industry has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century. However, the current state of the industry leaves much to be desired.

With production levels falling and declining quality, there is a need for the government to take steps to address the various factors responsible for its decline. This will pave the way for a thriving coffee industry that can contribute significantly to Nigerias economy.

In the meantime, coffee lovers in Nigeria have a variety of options to choose from, including Nescafe, imported coffee, and locally grown artisanal blends. Kaldi Africa:

Promoting Quality Coffee and Helping Local Farms

Kaldi Africa is a local roastery and coffee bar in Lagos, Nigeria, that is on a mission to promote quality coffee and help local coffee farms improve their production.

With its commitment to sourcing the best coffee beans and creating unique and delicious roasts, Kaldi Africa has quickly become a favorite spot for coffee lovers in the city.


At Kaldi Africa, the focus is on providing customers with an exceptional coffee experience. From the carefully selected beans to the expert roasting and brewing techniques, everything is designed to create delicious, high-quality coffee that is full of flavor.

The coffee bar is a cozy and inviting space that welcomes customers to relax and enjoy their coffee while taking in the sights and sounds of Lagos.

Promoting Quality Coffee

At the heart of Kaldi Africa’s mission is the desire to promote quality coffee. The team understands that great coffee starts with great beans, which is why they work hard to source only the best coffee beans from around the world.

Once the beans are selected, they are carefully roasted in-house, using different techniques to bring out the unique flavors of each variety. Kaldi Africa’s commitment to quality doesn’t stop with the beans.

The team also invests in training their staff to ensure that they have the knowledge and expertise needed to create the perfect cup of coffee every time. This focus on quality is reflected in the customer experience, with every cup of coffee served at Kaldi Africa delivering exceptional flavors.

Helping Local Coffee Farms

In addition to promoting quality coffee, Kaldi Africa is also focused on helping local coffee farms improve their production. The team believes that by working closely with local farmers, they can help breathe life back into failing farms and revitalize the Nigerian coffee industry.

Kaldi Africa does this by partnering with coffee farmers in Nigeria and other African countries to source the best possible beans. By establishing these relationships, the team is able to help farmers improve their production and create better quality beans.

This, in turn, helps to raise the profile of Nigerian coffee and strengthen the industry as a whole.

Hope for Nigerian Coffee

While the Nigerian coffee industry has faced many challenges over the years, there is hope for its future. The rise of coffee trade in Africa is creating new opportunities for growth and investment, and with the right support, Nigeria could once again become a major player in the global coffee market.

Kaldi Africa is playing its part in this growth by promoting quality coffee, supporting local coffee farms, and creating a unique coffee culture in Lagos. With their commitment to excellence and their passion for coffee, Kaldi Africa is helping to surpass past and current situations and build a brighter future for Nigerian coffee.

Overall, the article highlights the rich history of Nigerian coffee production and its current state, with falling production levels and aging plantations posing significant challenges. However, local roasteries like Kaldi Africa are promoting quality coffee while supporting local farms to improve their production and breathe life back into failing farms.

Kaldi Africa’s mission is critical, as there is hope for the Nigerian coffee industry with the rise of coffee trade in Africa, creating opportunities for growth and investment. The article emphasizes the importance of supporting local coffee farms and promoting quality coffee to achieve a brighter future for Nigerian coffee.

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