The two main coffee plants found on Madagascar are Robusta and Arabica. Cultivation areas of Robusta can be found on the east coast, in the Vatovavy-Fitovinany region, around Tamatave, Antalaha, as well as in the northwest, on Nosy Be and along the Sambirano river.
Robusta grows in the lowlands, usually at altitudes between 100m and 300m. Madagascar's Robusta Kouillou have a pronounced acidity and light body with a strong lasting finish, yet balanced and harmonious. While suitable for any roast level, a longer roasting or blend with Arabica may be ideal.
Arabica seedlings were brought to Madagascar in the beginning of the 19th century and is grown at higher altitudes in the central highlands, such as in the Antananarivo province and around Lake Alaotra on the northern central plateau in the Toamasina province.
Only about 2% Arabica are cultivated but this is expected to increase. Additionally, there are about 50 wild coffee varieties with less caffeine contents which have not been widely commercialised .
Almost all Madagascar's coffee plantations are owned by individual small family farm holders whose traditions and cultivation methods maintain biological diversity, which helps provide natural pest control, shade and organic nutrients.
- View all Madagascar Coffee photos