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South African Coffee – Roasting, Brewing & Buying Guides

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South Africa

$ 0.46 - $3.12 per ounce

  • How to serve: No widely accepted way to serve. Make it as you please
  • flavor: Medium acidity with hints of chocolate and caramel. Many say it also tastes fruity and nutty at the same time.
Varieties Arabica, Robusta
How to Serve No widely accepted way to serve. Make it as you please
Flavor Medium acidity with hints of chocolate and caramel. Many say it also tastes fruity and nutty at the same time.
Recommended Machine Drip, Single Serve, Percolator, Precision Brewer
Good As Mocha, Americano, Espresso, Cappuccino
Price Range $0.46 – $3.12 per ounce
Caffeine Level 1.3% on average

The South African coffee business, which is also driven by mixtures of Robusta coffee with chicory as well as dextrose, dominates the African roasting sector. There is also a lesser output of clear soluble coffee, which is manufactured from a combination of Robusta and Arabica coffees since South Africa sells both mixed and pure Coffee beans to African nations to the north.

In addition, there is a massive amount of medium and micro-roasters in the nation that focus on the high-quality roast as well as ground coffees, using around 6,000 mt of mainly Arabica coffees. Because of the advanced features of the South African market and business, these coffees are supplied from South and Central America, including Asia, and now all AFCA member nations.

Instant coffee is still very popular with the public, and it is also thought this is how the commercial industry got started. The coffee culture, like that of any other country, is infiltrating and establishing a footing in the South African market.

In this South African coffee review, we will further talk about what are the top native brands available on Amazon, Where do they grow coffee in South Africa, and guides on making this coffee at home.

Where Do They Grow Coffee in South Africa?

While Ethiopia is often recognized as the origin of coffee, several of Africa’s central and eastern nations also produce high-quality coffee beans. Coffee from the African continent accounts for roughly 12% of global coffee bean output, with Ethiopia and Uganda accounting for approximately 62 percent of this overall output.

Currently, 200 hectares of coffee are being produced in South Africa, mostly in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. Because the average yield did not surpass 1.2 t/ha, the highest South African production during the previous decade was around 120t. (2 000 bags of 130 pounds each).

The two coffee-growing areas in SA have different growing environments so it is not surprising that the overall taste of the coffee has some distinct flavors. Let’s discuss each of the regions briefly down below.


KwaZulu-Natal is a province in South Africa formed in 1994. It is situated in the country’s south, with a lengthy coastline along the Indian Ocean and bordering three additional provinces as well as the nations of Mozambique and Lesotho.

Because of its diversified and complicated geography, KwaZulu-Natal enjoys a variable yet verdant climate. The shoreline is mostly subtropical, with interior parts growing cooler. In the hinterland, temperatures drop, with Pietermaritzburg being comparable in the summer but significantly colder in the winter. The elevation can reach up to 11,000 feet above sea level.

With the combination of all of these different factors, it’s no wonder that some of the best South African coffee beans are grown here primarily.


Mpumalanga is a province in the east of South Africa, neighboring Eswatini as well as Mozambique. It accounts for 6.5 percent of South Africa’s landmass.

It gets a subtropical climate due to its close proximity to the warm Indian Ocean, but a balancing cool wind thanks to its elevation of up to 7500 feet above sea level.

Coffee is one of the most exceptional products that this region produces, this is a great coffee growing area according to its climate and ecological conditions. The majority of the yield here is pure Arabica coffee, which is mostly used domestically or exported to nearby African nations.

Top 4 South African Coffee Brands on Amazon

We evaluated and assessed some of the best South African coffees on the market. We also included a buyer’s advice for them, because it is so essential to know how to buy South African coffee before you finally taste it. Below you can find the top 4 best South African coffee brands we were able to dig up on Amazon.

How We Rated Them

We pay attention to the following:

For more detailed information on how exactly we rate the coffee products we suggest in our guides, click here.

Individual Overviews of Our Top Choices

Below you will find our individual thoughts on all of the products we’ve listed above. So why not check out what we liked or didn’t like about the best ones we dug up.

Unroasted Africa Blend

Price: $$36.70 (subject to change)

Size: 5 pounds

Type: Arabica

Roast: Unroasted

Producer: Smokin Beans

Beans: Whole

I was surprised to find out that Champion Espresso Blend has a gold cup rating. I think it’s the first I’ve seen with Smoking Beans. The woody, tobacco, as well as chocolate aromas, are tempered with a brown sugar richness that works perfectly with foamed milk and syrups to create rich-flavored, award-winning beverages.

This trademark mix is a premium combination of coffee beans from Asia, Africa, and South America. Although it can withstand the heat of an Italian roast better than others, this mix is best in the medium/dark to dark range.

Although a blend, it does contain enough South African coffee beans to really impact the flavor. The price is also pretty competitive for such a large quantity. The best thing about it is that it comes unroasted, meaning you can roast it to the level you find coffee the most delicious. Overall, highly recommended.

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Nescafe Ricoffy Instant Coffee

Price: $$12.99 (subject to change)

Size: 9 ounces

Type: Arabica

Roast: Dark

Producer: Ricoffy

Beans: Ground

This is Nestle Classic Nescafe Ricoffy which is an Arabica type of South African Coffee. This coffee is the good old favorite South African instant coffee, so if you do not want to waste a lot of time brewing coffee at home, this is probably the best possible option.

But don’t get your hopes up too much. This is instant coffee to its most basic form. It is good enough to feature in this list simply because there were very few options to choose from on Amazon. It’s the most basic taste you can expect from instant coffee with just a little bit of side sweetness added thanks to the local produce.

Another advantage is how cheap it is. So, even if you don’t like it, there’s not much of a loss here as well.

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Driftaway Coffee Single Origin

Price: $$14.00 (subject to change)

Size: 7 oz

Type: Arabica

Roast: Light

Producer: Driftaway Coffee

Beans: Whole

Driftaway Coffee began as a desire to make the best-tasting coffee and has since grown to become one of the most ecological and environmentally friendly coffee roasters around.

The company operates on a carbon-neutral basis, and all bags are biodegradable. Through the Farmer Feedback and Bean for Bean initiatives, each bag helps farmers establish sustainable lives.

This particular coffee has flavors of lemon, vanilla, and tropical fruit. The roast level is light, which means that the bright acidity and all the natural flavors of South African beans are going to shine through.

Be warned though, if you don’t like acidity in your coffee, then this is most likely not going to be a good fit for you.

As one would anticipate from an artisan bean roaster, this organic South African coffee is fragrant and excellent. A wonderful touch was the customized label with the roast date and my name. I highly suggest it!

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Premium African Hemp Coffee

Price: $$24.99 (subject to change)

Size: 8 oz

Type: Arabica & Robusta Blend

Roast: Dark

Producer: African Hemp Coffee Company

Beans: Ground

​​A hand-roasted quality coffee produced from a carefully chosen combination of 100 % Arabica coffee beans. This one-of-a-kind coffee is blended with the greatest natural supplements and is clear of added chemicals to provide you with an outstanding coffee that keeps you concentrated.

Natural low bitterness with lengthy nutty as well as sweet fragrant aromas. There is no need for sugar. Aside from the relaxing impact, I observed no bitter aftertaste, which usually makes me dislike drip coffee.

And no, it’s not like it got me high or anything, but the package does say it helps with reducing anxiety. So far, it’s just the taste that I liked about this South African coffee brand.

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Best Machines for Brewing South African Coffee at Home

South African coffee has its own distinct characteristics, which need to be preserved when we finally decide to brew them. Therefore, not only should you buy the correct beans on Amazon, but you should also prepare them in the correct way as well.

Espresso Machine

The Espresso machine has yielded the best tastes for me so far. Considering that I like my coffee medium roasted, the pressure that’s built in the Espresso machine is perfect for extracting flavor from it. I would not recommend this machine if you have light or dark roast coffee. The light roast could lose most of its flavor, while the dark roast will come out a bit too intense.

With the medium roast, I was able to find the perfect middle ground. The process is pretty simple as well. Pour your beans into the grinder and just wait for the coffee to be brewed for you, no extra hassle is required.

The final product comes out less acidic and bitter, while still carrying those distinct flavors of South African coffee.

Espresso Machines Listed


The pour-over technique is probably my favorite for South African coffee since I enjoyed the light roast so much.

This method is pretty much designed for a coffee that is meant to be a bit acidic, but with absolutely mesmerizing undertones.

The reason why it’s such a good method is that there is pretty much no pressure built with it. This helps extract the natural sweetness of the South African beans without damaging or losing them in the brewing process as an Espresso machine or a Moka Pot would do.

Pour Over Coffee Makers

Frequently Asked Questions on South African Coffee Online

Is coffee popular in South Africa?

Where does South Africas coffee come from?

What does South African coffee taste like?