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Senegal: Touba coffee touching hearts in Dakar


In Senegal, the lucrative business of brewing Touba coffee has lured hundreds of young men and women. The vendors have a secret ingredient that enables them to win the hearts of their customers.

The ingredient is a mixture of coffee, pepper and other spices that are blended together to give it a unique taste. The business has changed the lives of many young Senegalese. The coffee vendors are usually seen in dozens along the streets in the markets and even religious gatherings.

“We are selling Touba coffee of high quality. Everyday we use an average of 100 to 200 kilos of coffee. We do make a profit between $120 and $180 per day. So far the business is progressing very well and I’m now targeting to employ more young people,” said a vendor.

Passion has been the fundamental attribute that has pushed the coffee businesses to excel in Dakar. The beverage is prepared using a filter, similar to that of regular coffee.

The choice of coffee is also important with the dark color determining the quality of the beverage. Sugar is often added before drinking.

Saliou Wane, a young Senegalese vendor wakes up early in the morning everyday to prepare coffee for his clients.
“I wake up early in the morning between 4.30 and 5.00 to prepare coffee to the first customers who arrive at 6 am. Some buy to drink at the office. I work with a team of five people. I am also able to meet my personal needs and those of my family,” he said.

Touba Coffee is locally sold in bags and stocked in stores and shops in the neighborhoods within the city. The price varies between $5 and $7 per kilogram.

The name Touba is derived from the name of a holy city of Senegal. Vendors claim that the pepper used to prepare Touba coffee has therapeutic qualities.

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