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Best African Coffee Brands — Top Picks & Reviews 2020

Best African coffee beansIf you’re looking for interesting coffee beans, you may want to look to Africa. Everyone wants these big and bright coffees with popping acidity and fruity, earthy flavors. Plus, experts believe that coffee originated in Ethiopia.

If you haven’t tried Ethiopia’s bright, floral beans or Tanzania’s creamy, berry-flavored coffee, what are you waiting for? African coffees are generally for people with a preference for specialty coffee, but if you are a dark roast lover, don’t worry, there’s something for you, too.

The world of African coffee is huge but rewarding. We hope these reviews will help you find your new favorite coffee beans.


A Quick Glance at our Favorites for 2020:

ImageProductDetails
Best Overall
Winner
Volcanica African Kenya Volcanica African Kenya
  • Wonderful Kenyan coffee
  • Reliable roaster
  • Complex flavors
  • Best Decaf
    Second place
    Cooper’s Cask Ethiopian Cooper’s Cask Ethiopian
  • Awesome decaf
  • Small batch roasted
  • Interesting flavors
  • Third place
    Fresh Roasted LLC Tanzanian Peaberry Fresh Roasted LLC Tanzanian Peaberry
  • Wonderful mixture of lemon, peach, and black tea
  • Nice light roast and acidity
  • Eco-friendly Roaster
  • Best Ground
    Screen 18 Kenyan Screen 18 Kenyan
  • Nice even cup
  • Wine-like
  • Grown above 6,600 ft.
  • Stone Street Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Stone Street Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
  • One of the world's most recognized areas for coffee
  • Broad flavor profile
  • Spicy and fruity notes
  • Some of the Best African Coffee Brands:

    1. Volcanica African Kenya Coffee Beans — Best Overall

    Volcanica Kenya AA Whole Coffee Beans

    Kenyan coffee is often considered to be the best by consumers and experts alike because it is able to mix complex flavors and strong flavors with a smoothness that is hard to describe. With Kenyan coffee, you will often find fruits, creams, chocolates, and even flowers. Any coffee connoisseur absolutely must try it at least once.

    Volcanica Coffee Roasters does a nice job of bringing out the best in their Kenyan beans. They decided to do a medium roast to even out the flavors, which it does nicely. You will experience different flavors yet appreciate how well rounded the drink is.

    There have been a few complaints about the age of the coffee shipped.

    Pros
    • Wonderful Kenyan coffee
    • Complex flavors
    • Reliable roaster
    Cons
    • Sometimes ships old coffee

    2. Cooper’s Cask Ethiopian African Coffee – Best Decaf

    Cooper's Cask Ethiopian Decaf Swiss Water

    It was only a matter of time until Ethiopia popped up on this list! This decaf offering from Cooper’s Cask offers a full bodied, wonderfully representative cup of coffee that does the Ethiopian coffee bean justice.

    It’s decaffeinated using the chemical-free Swiss Water Process, along with being Organic and Fair Trade. Over at CC, they make sure to roast in small batches because they want to be able to catch any imperfections.

    Any criticism of this coffee has revolved around taste concerns due to it being decaf. The great thing is that Cooper’s Cask will refund you for any reason. Plus, you’ll enjoy the interesting flavors of lemon, orange, and black tea.

    Pros
    • Awesome decaf
    • Small batch roasted
    • Interesting flavors
    Cons
    • Decaf taste concerns

    3. Fresh Roasted LLC Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee

    Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee

    Fresh Roasted Coffee likes to roast their beans in an environmentally safe roaster, which gives them good stewards points. Coming in two-pound bags, these beans will keep you caffeinated for quite some time.

    Roasted between 5,000 and 6,000 feet, the Tanzanian Peaberry has a wonderful mixture of lemon, peach, and black tea notes. The acidity is quite noticeable, as this is a light roast coffee. Production of Peaberry coffee was imported to Tanzania in the 1800s and hasn’t stopped since.

    There have been complaints of coffee showing up stale.

    Pros
    • Wonderful mixture of lemon, peach, and black tea
    • Nice light roast and acidity
    Cons
    • Stale delivery

    4. Screen 18 Kenyan Coffee – Best Ground

    Screen 18 Kenyan AA Single Origin Premium Crafted Coffee

    This coffee offered by Screen 18 is known for having wine-like qualities. It is grown above 6,600 feet, so it has plenty of time to soak up all the nutrients from the ground before going through the grueling process of getting to your cup.

    Pre-ground, this coffee still does a good job of holding its flavor. It is a medium/dark roast, so it is an even cup as opposed to being a bright acidic cup.

    Since it is pre-ground, it is susceptible to being delivered a bit stale.

    Pros
    • Nice even cup
    • Wine-like
    Cons
    • Pre-ground coffee goes stale quickly

    5. Stone Street Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee

    Stone Street Coffee Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

    Stone Street understands that Yirgacheffe beans are consistently ranked among the world’s best and decided to throw their hat into the ring. Roasted lightly for a more broad profile, this coffee has spicy notes and fruity notes, though they’re not as defined as some of the other coffees on this list.

    We can report that while this is categorized as a light “breakfast” roast, it comes out much darker than that.

    Pros
    • One of the world’s most recognized areas for coffee
    Cons
    • Darker than advertised

    Buying Guide

    Now that you’ve seen our favorite African coffees, it’s time to start experimenting. But if you’re looking for a little more information, here’s a quick overview.

    Why try African coffee?

    You might find your favorite coffee and never switch again.
    This happens to people all the time! Sometimes you just find that perfect cup and can’t let go of it. (Ours happens to be African coffee!)

    You love to experiment and explore.
    Africa is a huge continent that provides so many flavors of coffee. Maybe you’ll find your favorite single-origin and start making blends of your own! Plus, you can impress your friends with your vast knowledge of the coffee world.

    You just really love coffee.
    Maybe you found your perfect coffee, but you like to explore on weekends. It’s the best of both worlds.

    What are the major regions?

    The most famous coffee-producing countries in Africa are Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania.

    According to legend, an Ethiopian goat herder first discovered coffee growing in the wild. Ethiopia’s coffee is brightly acidic and fruit-forward, with a light body and floral notes. Kenyan coffee is known for its rich flavor and bright acidity. It typically has notes of wine and berries. Coffee from Tanzania typically has an intense, berry-like flavor and a medium to full body. Like other African coffees, it can be quite acidic.

    Other regions:

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    Conclusion

    All of the products on this list are great examples of African coffees. To recap, our top picks are Volcanica Coffee and Cooper’s Cask. There are other roasters out there that make even smaller batches with more experimental roasts, so we like to think of this list as an introduction to African coffee. Once you’ve gotten a sense of the flavors, feel free to experiment with other roasters!

    With that being said, it’s hard to know where to start. Africa is a big continent that makes a lot of coffee. We hope that these reviews help you brew a great cup of interesting, complex African coffee. Whether you choose Ethiopia, Kenya, or Tanzania, you’re sure to be amazed!

    Kate MacDonnell

    Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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