Navigating Coffee Culture An Expats Guide to Suriname

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Welcome expatriates to the rich tapestry of coffee culture in Suriname, a country nestled in the northwestern corner of South America. Whether you are new to Suriname or a seasoned expat, this guide will offer insights and tips for navigating the local coffee scene. We believe that coffee is the great equalizer that transcends borders and fosters connections among expats and locals alike.

Understanding Coffee Origins and Production

While coffee is enjoyed all over the world, the taste and quality of coffee can vary significantly by region. Suriname is no exception. Here, we'll explore where coffee is sourced, emphasizing the significance of locally grown beans versus imported varieties. Surinamese coffee is primarily grown in the country's Southeastern region, encompassing the Brokopond villages, namely, Onse Mizion, Akaramai, and Santo Boma. The climate and soil composition offer ideal conditions for coffee cultivation.

Expats looking to explore coffee plantations and farms firsthand will find ample opportunities. One such opportunity comes in the form of the annual Suriname Coffee Festival, sponsored by the National Association of Craftmenu Farmers (NVEB). During the festival, coffee growers from various regions of Suriname gather to showcase their produce and share their knowledge with visitors. It's an excellent opportunity for expats to learn about coffee cultivation, taste local-grown coffee, and connect with the local coffee community.

Embracing Favorite Coffee Style Drinks

Suriname's coffee culture is as diverse as the country itself. From traditional brews to specialty blends, Surinamese expats will find a wide array of coffee style drinks catering to diverse tastes and preferences. Below, we'll explore some of the most popular coffee styles unique to Suriname:

  • - Cashew seeds are roasted and ground into a coarse powder used as a substitute for coffee beans. The result is a beverage that is stronger, darker, and has a distinct flavor. It's an acquired taste, and while it might not appeal to all coffee enthusiasts, it's a must-try for anyone looking to explore Suriname's coffee culture. Cafes like Cafe Lily and Cafe Santa are great places to taste cashew coffee and meet other coffee enthusiasts.
  • - Sourced from a coffee varietal that thrives in the country's hilly and mountainous regions, Banda coffee has a unique and distinct flavor. The beans are allowed to dry naturally, which results in a rich and full-bodied flavor. Banda coffee is often served with milk or condensed milk and is a favorite among Surinamese coffee lovers.
  • - This beverage combines Banda coffee with sweet milk, flavored condensed milk, and sugary syrups. It's a favorite among Surinamese children and is often served during special occasions like holidays and birthdays.
  • - This traditional coffee brew is rich, strong, and aromatic. The coffee is brewed, and the grounds are left in the pot, giving it a distinct flavor and texture. It's often served in small, thick glasses and is enjoyed with traditional Surinamese desserts like kesichir."

Embracing Coffee Drinking Customs and Traditions

Coffee isn't just about the taste; it's about the experience. In Suriname, coffee drinking is deeply ingrained in day-to-day life and social interactions. Learning and respecting these coffee customs and traditions will enable expats to immerse themselves in local coffee culture:

  • - In Suriname, the noon-hour break is known as the "koffiekoertje," colloquially translated to "coffee corner". This break signifies the end of the workday and is a time for colleagues to wind down, chat and enjoy some coffee together.
  • - Two cups are poured by the barista simultaneously. The cups are allowed to sit on the counter for a few seconds before being served with a "double coffee critique", whereby the barista and customer discuss the aroma, flavor, and texture of the coffee.
  • - Coffee is also an integral part of social interactions in Suriname. Surinamese people often greet one another with a warm cup of coffee as a sign of friendship and hospitality.

Recommended Expat-Friendly Coffee Shops and Cafes

Luckily, Suriname boasts an array of coffee shops and cafes, many of which are expat-friendly and cater to diverse tastes and preferences. We've listed a few of our recommendations below:

  • - Located in the Clyde region, Cafe Lily offers a cozy ambiance, air conditioning, and free Wi-Fi. The cafe serves a variety of coffee styles, including cashew coffee, Banda coffee, and latte art.
  • - Situated in Paramaribo, Cafe Santa is known for its excellent coffee selection and cozy decor. The cafe's travel theme provides expats with the perfect opportunity to connect with other travel-loving coffee enthusiasts.
  • - Arguably one of Suriname's most popular coffee brands, Barista Spelon Saw Mannsing enjoys nationwide recognition for its excellent coffee blends and aromatic cashew coffee. The brand's cafe is located in the heart of Paramaribo.


Expatriates can connect with the local coffee community by immersing themselves in Suriname's unique coffee culture. This guide has explored the origins and production of coffee, popular coffee styles, customs and traditions, and practical tips for expats seeking to immerse themselves in local coffee experiences while respecting local customs and traditions. We encourage expats to embrace Suriname's coffee culture as a gateway to connecting with the local community and experiencing authentic cultural experiences.