Navigating Coffee Culture An Expats Guide to Samoa

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Welcome, expats! If you're new to Samoa or planning to move here, we've got great news for you. Samoa has a thriving coffee culture that's worth exploring. Whether you're a coffee connoisseur or just starting to appreciate the beverage, this guide has got you covered.

Understanding Coffee Origins and Production

Samoa is home to several coffee plantations, with the majority of coffee grown in the Upolu and Savai'i islands. The country produces both Arabica and Robusta coffee, but Arabica beans are more popular among locals and expats alike.

Coffee farming in Samoa dates back several centuries, with the Dutch introducing the coffee plant to the islands in the early 19th century. Since then, coffee farming has become a significant part of the Samoan economy, providing employment to hundreds of people.

Samoan coffee is known for its rich aroma, full body, and smooth finish. Some of the best coffee plantations to visit in Samoa include Hardy's, Coles Plantation, and Mount Alison Plantation.

Embracing Favorite Coffee Style Drinks

Coffee culture in Samoa is diverse, with a range of coffee style drinks available on the island. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Kopi Mumu: This traditional coffee is brewed using a cloth filter, resulting in a strong, full-bodied beverage with a rich, earthy flavor.
  • Kopi Taimi: Similar to Kopi Mumu, Kopi Taimi is also brewed using a cloth filter, but the coffee is left to brew for a longer time, resulting in a stronger, more intense flavor.
  • Kopi Tafa: This coffee is served with a side of steamed taro leaves, which are said to help facilitate digestion.
  • Kopi Samoa: This flavorful coffee is a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans, which provides a well-rounded, smooth flavor.
  • Espresso: Espresso coffee is becoming increasingly popular in Samoa, with several expat-friendly coffee shops serving up expertly brewed espressos.

As an expat, don't be afraid to try new things and branch out from your usual coffee styles. You never know, you might just discover a new favorite drink.

Embracing Coffee Drinking Customs and Traditions

In Samoa, coffee is a deeply ingrained part of daily life and social interactions. Here are some of the customs and traditions associated with coffee drinking in Samoa:

  • Respect: Coffee is a mark of respect in Samoa, and it's customary to offer a cup of coffee to guests as a sign of hospitality.
  • Clear Communication: Communication is key when it comes to coffee in Samoa. When someone offers you coffee, be sure to accept politely and make it clear if you'd like sugar, milk, or any additional flavors.
  • Slowly Sip and Relax: Coffee is meant to be enjoyed slowly and savorfully, allowing you to fully appreciate its rich, complicated flavors.
  • Gatherings: Coffee drinking is a social event in Samoa, and it's common to gather with friends and family to enjoy a cup of coffee together.

As an expat in Samoa, it will help to familiarize yourself with these customs and traditions. When in doubt, just observe how the locals are drinking their coffee and follow suit.

Suggested Expat-Friendly Coffee Shops and Cultural Experiences

Here are a few recommendations for expat-friendly coffee shops and cultural experiences in Samoa:

  • Coles Plantation: Located on the outskirts of Apia, Coles Plantation offers guided tours of its coffee plantation, including a coffee tasting session.
  • Mount Alison Plantation: Nestled in the lush hills of Upolu, Mount Alison Plantation offers tours of its coffee plantation, as well as a traditional Samoan feast.
  • Kopa Ridge Coffee: Located in the town of Leulumu, Kopa Ridge Coffee is a popular hangout for expats, serving up a variety of coffee styles and blends.
  • Fa'a Samoa: This cultural center in Apia offers a variety of cultural experiences, including traditional coffee ceremonies.

These are just a few suggestions – there are many more coffee shops and cultural experiences to discover in Samoa. Be sure to ask locals for recommendations as well.


Samoa's coffee culture is a truly unique and authentic part of the island's heritage, and we hope this guide has helped you to understand and appreciate it. Whether you're a coffee connoisseur or a casual drinker, we recommend embracing the local coffee culture and enjoying the rich, developed flavors that are unique to this part of the world.

As an expat, your experience in Samoa will be all the richer if you immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions. We wish you all the best as you explore the island and discover the many wonders that Simoa has to offer.