How Do You Make Touba Coffee?

There seem to be as many ways to make coffee as there are places in the world. A unique way to make coffee comes from the country of Senegal. Touba coffee is made from eighty percent coffee and twenty percent selim. Selim is also known Guinea pepper. Other spices may also be added such as cloves. Touba coffee is served at ceremonies during the Magal of Touba, the commemoration of the leader of the Islamic Mouride brotherhood from exile in 1902. However, Touba coffee is consumed every day by ordinary people in Senegal and has become popular across other parts of Africa and other parts of the world. Interestingly, Nescafe had to introduce a new product, Nescafe Ginger and Spice to compete with Touba coffee in Senegal and adjacent countries.

Touba Coffee Ingedients

Our preference is to start with healthy organic coffee. And you need to find Selim seeds, the unique ingredient in Touba coffee. Another name for Selim is Negro pepper and it can be purchased from outlets for African foods.

Here are a couple of links that may be useful:

Shikenan African Shop offers a variety of unique foods including Uda / Negro pepper / Selim seeds.

Uda is a pungent and aromatic spice that yields the scientific named Xylopia aethiopica but it is commonly known in the plain language as Negro pepper. Came originally from Ethiopia to Ghana, Uda is also called grains of selim, African grains of selim, moor pepper and Senegal pepper. Beyond it diverse labels, Uda is popular for its bitter-nutty taste just like a mixture of cubeb pepper and nutmeg. One example of African food recipe that uses Uda is the Nigerian Pepper Soup.

As you will find out on their web site Selim is used for more purposes than to spice up coffee.

If you come from down under you may want to check out Herbie’s Spices. Here is what they say about Selim pepper pods.

Selim Pepper

Botanical Name: Xylopia aethiopica

Other Common Names: African pepper, Ethiopian pepper, Grains of Selim, Guinea pepper, kimba pepper, negro pepper and Senegal pepper

Description & Use: Selim pepper goes by the names; African pepper, Ethiopian pepper, Grains of Selim, Guinea pepper, kimba pepper, negro pepper and Senegal pepper. This little pod, about the same size as a long pepper, comes to us from Western Africa and this pepper is generally used in the same way as black pepper, Sichuan pepper or grains of paradise. Like Sichuan pepper, most of the camphor-like, numbing, medicinal flavor is in the pod itself and the seeds actually have very little flavor by comparison. For this reason the whole or ground pod is most commonly added to cooking to get the most out of the taste. Although Selim pepper tastes quite medicinal on its own, when combined with rich, gamey or very fatty ingredients, it has the effect of cutting the rich, cloying flavors of these foods.

Likewise Herbies will tell you about many other uses of Selim besides for making Touba coffee.

How to Make Touba Coffee

The authentic way to make Touba coffee is to combine four parts green coffee bean and 1 part Selim seeds. Roast and grind. Add water and boil. Then pour through a filter and serve. An alternative approach if you already have whole bean roasted organic coffee on hand is to grind the beans, add coffee to water and boil. For the last few minutes add Selim seeds. With both methods you may find that you sneeze from the strong peppery aroma of the Selim.


Leave a Reply