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Why are Coffee Shops Scarce in Nigeria 

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Why are Coffee Shops Scarce in Nigeria 
Written by Robin Okwanma

Coffee: The Origins

  1. Coffee is a well-known beverage around the world, produced from ground coffee beans. History has it that coffee originated from the forests of Ethiopia – a chance discovery by a goat herder. But what made coffee become so popular was the fact that drinking the beverage increased a person’s alertness and ability to concentrate. 

Coffee is also grown in Burundi, Togo, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Cote D’Ivoire, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Madagascar, Zambia, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Even though high-quality coffee beans are produced in these African nations, none of them consumes it as much as Ethiopians do. 

Nigerians and Coffee Consumption: Any Health Benefits?

One should be curious to know the importance of coffee to mental and physical health. According to medical experts, the active constituents in coffee are CAFFEINE and CHLOROGENIC ACID. Caffeine is known to stimulate the heart, muscles and the central nervous system. While chlorogenic acid appears to have some effect on blood vessels, and blood sugar levels. 

Also Read-10 Most Popular Eateries in Nigeria

In general, medical experts have indicated that taking moderate amounts of coffee (one to five cups a day) can have the following health benefits:

  • Reduces tiredness and increases mental alertness
  • Lower risk of developing depression, and Parkinson’s disease (in males only) 
  • Improves gut health
  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Tendency to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes
  • Lower risk of certain kinds of cancer, especially liver, kidney, prostate, breast, colorectal, and endometrial cancers
  • Increases the body’s metabolic rate thus reducing body fat
  • Contains antioxidants that can both prevent and repair damaged cells and genetic material

The Emergence of Coffee in Nigeria 

Coffee came into Nigeria sometime in the late 1800s. And the crop was cultivated for export all the way till around 2006, according to reports. But the federal government focusing more on crude oil has led to a drastic decline in coffee production. 

However, the move by some emerging Nigerian coffee makers to invest in local coffee production is actually increasing. It is on record that over 90% of coffee in Nigeria are sourced from abroad. To further encourage local consumption, some of these coffee businesses are collaborating with local farmers to increase production. One such entrepreneur is the owner of Happy Coffee, Sophia Adeyinka.

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While there are coffee shop owners who even have their own farms – Vintage Cafe for instance. This initiative is in addition to increased advertising to draw more attention to coffee consumption.

Varieties of Nigerian Coffee

The two most cultivated varieties of coffee in Nigeria at present are the robusta and arabica – arabica taking the greater share. In the whole of Nigeria, only Taraba and Cross Rivers states have significantly large coffee farms of the arabica variety; the high altitudes and soil conditions being just good enough.

Promoting the Coffee Culture in Nigeria

In Nigeria, far more consumers prefer to drink coffee at home or in the office than outdoors. And for this reason, the emergence of coffee shops in the country has been slow; and majority of them are concentrated in Lagos. 

The Nescafe brand is also the most popular in the country, due to its quality and unrelenting advertisement campaigns. The proliferation of street coffee vendors sponsored by Nescafe, in addition to popular eateries that serve coffee with meals, may have further inspired the coffee shop business to thrive. 

The Nigerian Coffee Shop Model

The typical model of coffee shops in Nigeria is either the workspace model, or the quick-service  restaurant/relaxation center theme. These models require constant electricity and value perks such as free wifi, cozy furniture and snacks served in a serene, clean environment. Thus, they particularly favour online and remote workers. Customers could drop by, set up their laptops and phones to work, and have a brunch alongside. 

Popular coffee shops in Nigeria such as Cafe Neo, are promoting the workspace model. While well-known eateries and pastry shops around town (mostly in Lagos) such as Mr. Biggs and several others, are really into coffee as well. 

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Why are Coffee Shops Scarce in Nigeria?

Having constant electricity and providing high-quality coffee plus snacks in an environment free from distraction, is a fairly hefty combo to sustain. And it obviously requires enough capital investment, and more public awareness. Popular eateries in Nigeria have proven themselves capable enough to surmount these same challenges and still make profit. So the emerging coffee shops can as well learn the ropes and thrive. 

Also, it would only be a matter of time before international coffee shops such as Starbucks penetrate the Nigerian market and establish themselves. There is therefore no better time for local coffee shops to capture and retain customers than now. So long as they are ready to provide and sustain quality service. 

27 Popular Coffee Shops in Nigeria in 2023 

  • Cafe Neo (Cafe and snacks, serves American meals. No. 16 Akin Olugbede St. Victoria Island, Lagos 101241)
  • Hard Rock Cafe (American Bar & Cafe, serves American meals. Water Corporation Road Near Landmark Center, Oniru Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos 550104 Nigeria)
  • Chocolat Royal (Cafe, serves desserts and American meals. No. 267A Etim Inyang, Victoria Island, Lagos 516000 Nigeria)
  • Art Cafe (Bar & cafe, serves European meals. No. 282 Akin Olugbede St. Victoria Island, Lagos 101241 Nigeria)
  • Top Beans, Coffee and more (Cafe, bar & pub. Serves American, African, Eastern European, Ukrainian foods. Multiple branches. Sanusi Fafunwa Street, Lagos 100001 Nigeria)
  • Nuts about Cakes (Cafe, bakeries, international cuisine. Fola Osibo road, Lagos 550104 Nigeria)
  • Hans and Rene (Cafe, serves desserts. No. 1 Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, Victoria Island, Lagos Radisson Blu Hotel Premises, Lagos 550104 Nigeria) 
  • The Jazzhole (Cafe, serves African dishes. No. 168 Awolowo Road Ikoyi, Lagos Nigeria)
  • The Ice Cream Factory (Cafe, serves desserts. No. 5 Admiralty Way, Lagos 550104 Nigeria)
  • Bistro 7 (Cafe, serves International and contemporary dishes. No. 273B Kofo Abayomi Rd. Victoria Island, Lagos 101241 Nigeria)
  • Cold Stone Creamery (Cafe, fast food store, serves American meals. No. 69B Lekki Admiralty Way, Lagos 101222 Nigeria)
  • LaBrioche (Cafe and bakeries. No. 22b Musa Yar’adua Street, Lagos 101244 Nigeria)
  • Moist Beach Club (African, Cafe, Bar, Pub, Pizza eatery, Barbecue, African dishes. Ligali Ayorinde St Oniru Private Beach 1, Lagos Nigeria)
  • The Flower Shop (Cafe. 1291 Akin Adesola Street St. Victoria Island, Lagos 101241 Nigeria)
  • Deli’s Cafe (Cafe. 1291 Akin Adesola St, Lagos Nigeria)
  • Coffee Plus (Cafe, serves desserts. 12 Anifowoshe Street Victoria Island, Lagos 550104)
  • Eric Kayser (Cafe. 864 A Bishop Aboyade Cole Victoria Island, Lagos 101241)
  • Cafe Tranche (Cafe. 14C Karimu Kotun St. Off Olosa Street, Lagos 101242)
  • Cafe Vergnana (Cafe. The Palms, Lekki)
  • HubDeli (Cafe, Fast Food, Street Food, Soups. No. 35 Adeola Odeku St St., Lagos 101241 Nigeria) 
  • 10 Eleven Restaurant and Lounge (Cafe, bar, pub, pizza eatery, barbecue, serves Nigerian dishes. No 10, 3rd Avenue, 31 Road, Gowon Estate, Egbeda, Lagos 100001 Nigeria)
  • Godaif Village (Cafe, grills, pizza eatery, serves Italian, American, African, and Ethiopian dishes. No. 26B Turnbull Road St. Casa Asmarina, Lagos 101233 Nigeria)
  • Michelle’s Cafe (Cafe. 1436 Sanusi Fafunwa Street Fourteen 36 Mall, Lagos 550104)
  • Umutu Coffee Company (Cafe. 27A Oju Olobun Close Victoria Island, Lagos 100282 Nigeria)
  • Vestar Coffee (Cafe. 26A Ojo Olobun St. Off Bishop Oluwole, Lagos 101241)
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About the author

Robin Okwanma

Hi, I'm Robin Okwanma. Software Engineer || Django, Python || React, React Native || Blogger. Technical Writer.