Southern African nation of Angola sets its sights on the global coffee market
Angolan coffee is a brew long coveted by aficionados around the world. In the 1970s, around a quarter of a million tonnes of this original Angolan black gold was produced a year.
This was interrupted by civil war, but now after nearly 20 years of peace, Angola is bouncing back and two Angolan companies are expanding into the global market once again.
Their goal is to regain Angola's standing as one of the world's top coffee exporters. The companies, Café Cazengo and Fazenda Vissolela are trying to do this by expanding in the historical coffee-producing areas of Angola.
Researchers say Café Cazengo is one of the most dynamic producers in the agricultural heartland east of the capital, Luanda. One of the main towns in this coffee country is Quiculungo.
Camila Paula, the commercial director at Café Cazengo, explains that in colonial times coffee was what moved Angola's economy and Quiculungo was really built around coffee. Camila Paula is from coffee giant Brazil and it was a Brazilian who started Angola's first commercial coffee plantation in the early 19th century.
Angola's commercial coffee bean production was up by 34% in 2019-2020. The country's new agricultural technologies and a conquering flavour are bringing Angolan coffee back for good.
Why is Angolan coffee so good?
A combination of factors makes Angola ideal for the crop.
Compared to other parts of the world, Angola benefits from geography and natural resources that are key to coffee-growing, like an abundance of water to help with irrigation and topography that facilitates mechanisation. Diniz argues that this all leads "to increased productivity."
Énio Miranda, the managing partner at Fazenda Vissolela says that this productivity has already given them a good turnover this year. He expects to double this turnover next year and in the years to come. "This year is the beginning of a bright future. (...) coffee is the future, it has been our past, but now it will be the future of Angola", he explains.