Ghana has a new coffee option! This is great news because the usual suspects in coffee have been:
Nescafe instant (actually, not that bad)
Imported Starbucks (in someone’s luggage and hoarded)
Brazilian coffee via Lebanon (terrible)
Brazilian coffee via South Africa (ok, but stale)
And now a new company, Upcountry Coffee Company, has started distributing Ghana grown and fresh roasted in coffee [see their Facebook page].
Available at Shoprite at the Accra Mall, Upcountry comes in half pound (250g) air pack packaging. Roasted on Sunday, September 21, 2014, bought on October 2; there was a twelve days lag time. Cost about six dollars (19 GHC).
I really like the packaging and logo, it is a fun, smiling, happy coffee bean with halftone sun in the background.
So how good was it?
It was good, much better than instant or really any of the other local options. Move over Starbucks? No, its Robusta, and sold ground. It is vastly superior to the Lebanese and Syrian Robusta coffees that often as not come with an overpowering amount of cardamom.
Robusta is one of two primary varieties of commercial coffee beans grown around the world, the other is Arabica. Arabica beans have a softer, sweeter taste than Robusta, and less caffeine. This Robusta was harsh, woody, and packed with caffeine. It gave quite a buzz. Unfortunately, the product came ground, and pre-ground coffee goes stale quickly.
It wasn’t the religious coffee experience I was hoping for but I really do like that their beans are grown locally in the Volta region, and roasted in Accra.
If I could only buy the whole beans, instead of ground, I would switch and make Upcountry my primary source of local coffee.