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Madagascar Espresso Beans: Info, Information, Flavors

Madagascar hasn’t made a big impact on the worldwide espresso scene. However that’s not as a result of a scarcity of espresso manufacturing. It’s as a result of it’s an island of espresso lovers. Most espresso produced in Madagascar is consumed within the nation. 

This information will train you all the pieces it is advisable to find out about Madagascar espresso, from the farm to the cup.

A Full Information to Madagascar Espresso Manufacturing

Although now not on the historic peak of its espresso manufacturing, Madagascar grows roughly 66 million kilos annually. It’s the twenty third largest espresso producer worldwide. Unusually, the vast majority of this espresso is consumed domestically, so that you’ll have a tough time sampling it with out an costly airplane ticket.

A Historical past of Madagascar Espresso

Industrial espresso bushes had been dropped at Madagascar by way of Bourbon Island – which lends its title to the well-known Bourbon espresso varietal – within the mid-Nineteenth century. However espresso didn’t turn out to be necessary till French colonists arrived in 1895 and took over the business. By encouraging native farmers to develop espresso, which was extra profitable than different crops, the French colonists had made espresso a significant a part of the island’s economic system by the Thirties.

Madagascar gained independence from France in 1960 however maintained a detailed buying and selling relationship that allowed the espresso sector to flourish. By 1980, Madagascar was the world’s Eighth-largest producer.

The espresso worth crash of the Nineteen Nineties had an enormous influence on Malagasy espresso manufacturing, which already struggled with poor infrastructure to help the business. Many Malagasy farmers turned to farming rice as an alternative, which promised extra steady costs. Immediately, Madagascar produces roughly half as many espresso beans because it did at its peak.

A lot of the espresso at present grown in Madagascar is natural, although this is because of necessity quite than an environmental ethos.

Farmers merely lack the schooling and assets to accumulate fertilizers. Whatever the cause, nevertheless, the outcomes are the identical – improved soil and elevated biodiversity.

A Urgent Want for Schooling and Funding

There’s little authorities help for espresso farmers in Madagascar, which will probably be essential if the nation hopes to be a extra vital participant on the worldwide market. Lots of the nation’s espresso farmers are rising espresso for his or her households or are promoting espresso regionally from farm stands. There’s restricted infrastructure to help correct processing and low exports.

Deforestation is a major subject. Many farmers depend on “slash and burn” farming strategies with out consciousness of the results. Deforestation will increase soil erosion and destroys the behavior of native animals that profit espresso crops. Elevated schooling round long-term business sustainability is required, however it’s difficult as many farmers solely converse Malagasy.

Varieties and Flavors of Madagascar Espresso

Madagascar homes an unimaginable range of espresso crops, greater than practically every other nation on Earth. There are 65 documented wild Coffea crops on the island, six of which had been solely found prior to now few years.

Industrial Varieties: Arabica and Robusta

The one commercially viable espresso varietals are Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is the higher-value crop. It is more difficult to develop and requires extra demanding situations – cooler climates, increased altitudes – however provides sweeter and extra advanced flavors. Robusta espresso has stronger, harsher flavors however thrives in lots of situations and is extra proof against pests and illnesses.

Over 90% of the espresso grown commercially in Madagascar is Robusta. Robusta espresso beans are grown at decrease elevations, between 100 to 300 meters above sea stage. The principle rising areas are on the east coast, together with Vatovavy, Fitovivany, Antalaha, and Tamatave. There are additionally some farms within the tropical areas of the northwest close to Lake Alaotra.

Madagascar Robusta is understood for its prime quality. It’s usually considered smoother and fewer harsh than typical Robusta.

The few Arabica farms are situated within the central highlands. Whereas Arabica espresso manufacturing remains to be minor, Madagascar holds the potential to turn out to be a specialty espresso producer. Crops like Madagascar Vanilla present a mannequin for rising and exporting premium merchandise. And native farmers, like Jacques Ramarlah, are optimistic in regards to the high quality of their Arabica espresso beans (1).

Q graders tasted and evaluated our espresso from the 2019/20 harvest and scored it between 83 and 84. The cup was clear and full-bodied.

He’s hopeful that increased cupping scores will include time, schooling, and correct financial incentives.


Virtually all espresso manufacturing in Madagascar depends on pure processing as a result of the island lacks water assets for washed processing. Naturally processed coffees are sun-dried with the espresso beans nonetheless within the espresso fruit. This will improve a espresso’s inherent sweetness, however it’s much less constant and extra susceptible to “off” flavors than washed processing.

Wild Coffea Vegetation

Madagascar claims practically half the world’s wild Coffea crops. They develop across the nation in a shocking vary of rising environments. Whereas none have industrial worth, they supply an enchanting take a look at the range of the species. The espresso cherries are all sizes and styles; some are even naturally devoid of caffeine!

Sadly, many of those species are threatened by habitat loss, local weather change, pests, and illnesses, in response to sustainable espresso advocate and low growth specialist Nicole Motteux (2).

Madagascar is phenomenal, having the best variety of threatened species, with the vast majority of the 65 species underneath extinction menace.

Latest analysis stories that 60% of the world’s wild espresso is vulnerable to extinction, and in Madagascar, that quantity is 72%.

Malagasy Espresso Tradition

Given that almost all espresso grown in Madagascar is consumed domestically, it’s no shock that the island has a vigorous espresso tradition. Whereas there are few Western-style specialty cafes, road distributors across the nation provide andao hisotro kafe. This ultra-strong espresso, normally served with a dollop of condensed milk, is loved by Malagasy all through the day. 

Andao hisotro kafe is normally brewed with the native Robusta beans, so it is rather excessive in caffeine. For those who plan to pattern some on a go to to Madagascar, be ready for a critical vitality enhance!

How can I attempt Madagascar espresso?

It is rather troublesome to pattern Madagascar espresso with out visiting the nation. Most espresso from Madagascar is consumed domestically. The few exports are typically commodity Robusta destined for affordable blends and prompt espresso – hardly the best solution to expertise an origin.

For those who can go to Madagascar, it’s a espresso lover’s paradise. Hike by way of the jungle and uncover wild Madagascar espresso varieties discovered nowhere else on earth. Purchase inexperienced espresso beans at native markets to roast your self. Or get pleasure from an excellent Malagasy espresso from any of the straightforward picket kiosks dotted across the nation.

If you wish to attempt espresso beans grown in Africa with out shopping for a airplane ticket, coffees from extra established rising areas are available. For instance, learn extra about espresso manufacturing in Ethiopia, the Kenyan espresso business, and Burundi espresso.

The Verdict

The Madagascar espresso business holds great potential. They’ve the local weather and geography to develop Robusta and Arabica efficiently, and the wild espresso varieties hidden within the jungle are an untapped supply of genetic range. 

Might espresso manufacturing in Madagascar be house to the following massive espresso breakthrough? It is going to take elevated schooling and funding to seek out out, however the substances for fulfillment are there.


One of the best espresso on the planet is a subjective designation. A basic guideline is to hunt out good-quality Arabica beans grown at excessive elevations, processed by expert espresso producers, roasted with information and expertise, and offered contemporary. Examine our checklist of the world’s top-rated espresso beans for strategies.

Specialty espresso doesn’t have a strict definition. Many consultants use a espresso’s Q rating, which should be over 80 (out of 100) to be thought of specialty. However the Particular Espresso Affiliation makes use of a extra holistic definition that features the farmer, purchaser, roaster, barista, and shopper (3).

Madagascar vanilla is so good as a result of it accommodates a better proportion of vanillin, the compound liable for a lot of vanilla’s taste. The success of Madagascar’s vanilla business is taken into account a attainable roadmap for the success of specialty espresso. 

  1. Gakuo, P. (2021, September 21). A information to espresso manufacturing in Madagascar. Retrieved from
  2. Motteux, N. (2019, June 7). Espresso Tradition in Madagascar. Retrieved from
  3. Specialty Espresso Affiliation. (2022). What’s Specialty Espresso? Retrieved from https://sca.espresso/analysis/what-is-specialty-coffee


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