Navigating Coffee Culture An Expats Guide to Botswana

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Welcome, expatriates! We're excited to introduce you to the delicious world of coffee in Botswana. Whether you're a seasoned coffee connoisseur or a beginner, this guide is designed to help you embrace Botswana's unique coffee culture and customs.

Understanding Coffee Origins and Production

Botswana's coffee heritage is deep and fascinating. While much of the coffee consumed in Botswana is imported, there are several regions in the country that boast thriving coffee production. One such region is the northern district of Chobe, where Arabica coffee is grown in small-scale plantations. If you're interested in learning more about coffee farming and processing, we recommend visiting nearby villages like Dukwi and Shakawe, where you can meet local farmers and see their coffee trees up close.

Botswana is also home to some fascinating experiments in organic and fair-trade coffee farming. For example, the Kgalagadi Native Trust is working with local communities to cultivate Arabica coffee using sustainable, regenerative farming practices. By supporting initiatives like this, you can help promote local coffee farming while also contributing to conservation efforts in Botswana's magnificent wilderness areas.

Embracing Favorite Coffee Style Drinks

Botswana has a diverse and vibrant coffee culture, with a range of traditional brews and blends that are unique to the region. One such brew is the "ralter" - a traditional brew made from burnt coffee beans - which is popular among locals and expats alike. If you're in the mood for something more familiar, you'll find plenty of classic coffee styles on offer in Botswana's cafes and coffee shops, including lattes, cappuccinos, and espresso.

Another popular coffee drink in Botswana is the "sukutla" - a traditional South African coffee that's made by brewing crushed beans with hot water. The resulting brew is strong, rich, and bursting with flavor - a true testament to the region's coffee heritage.

Embracing Coffee Drinking Customs and Traditions

Coffee holds a special place in Botswana's culture, serving as a social lubricant and a way for people to connect with their communities. Traditional coffee ceremonies are often accompanied by lively chatter, music, and dance, offering visitors a rare opportunity to experience the warmth and hospitality of Botswana's coffee culture.

If you're looking for an authentic coffee experience in Botswana, we recommend visiting one of the country's many traditional coffee shops, where you can sample local brews and drinks while also learning about the region's coffee heritage. Some popular spots include Balopi Coffee Shop in Gaborone and Café Society in Francistown.

Recommendations for Expat-Friendly Cafes and Experiences

Whether you're craving a rich, flavorful sukutla or a classic cappuccino, Botswana has something to offer every coffee lover. Here are a few of our top picks for expat-friendly cafes and coffee shops in Botswana:

  • Black Coffee, Gaborone
  • Coffee Plant, Gaborone
  • Espresso Fredo, Gaborone
  • Civ Collective, Gaborone
  • Café Society, Francistown
  • Black Market Coffee Shop, Maun
  • Maitisong Coffee, Gaborone and Maun

In addition to these cafes, we also recommend trying your hand at coffee roasting and brewing in Botswana. Several local coffee shops offer workshops and classes for expats who want to learn the ins and outs of coffee production and brewing, providing a truly immersive coffee experience.

Finally, we encourage all expats in Botswana to respect the country's coffee customs and traditions. Whether you're savoring a rich, flavorful sukutla at a local coffee shop or enjoying a classic cappuccino in the comfort of your home, always remember to embrace the region's coffee culture with respect and appreciation.


Coffee is more than just a beverage - it's a way of life, a gateway to culture, and a way for people to connect with their communities. By embracing Botswana's coffee heritage and customs, you can not only discover some truly amazing coffee experiences but also promote sustainable coffee farming, foster community ties, and contribute to the region's cultural heritage. So order yourself a rich, flavorful sukutla, or indulge in a classic cappuccino, and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of coffee culture in Botswana.

Keep exploring, sharing, and learning. And remember, at Expat Coffee, we're always here to help you uncover the best coffee experiences in Botswana and beyond.