Café Touba is a coffee drink that is flavored with grains of selim (known as Guinea pepper or djar in the Wolof language) and sometimes cloves. The addition of Guinea pepper (the dried fruit of Xylopia aethiopica) is the important factor differentiating Café Touba from plain coffee. The Guinea pepper, imported to Senegal from Côte d'Ivoire or Gabon, and other spices are mixed and roasted with coffee beans, then ground into powder. The drink is prepared using a filter, similar to drip coffee.
Café Touba is named for the holy city of Touba, Senegal. The drink is traditionally consumed by the Islamic Mouride brotherhood as it came to Senegal when the brotherhood's founder, Cheikh Amadou Bamba Mbacké, returned from exile in Gabon in 1902. The drink is served during ceremonies, commemorations, and during the Magal of Touba.
In recent years, consumption of Café Touba has been increasing as the drink is spreading to cities of all faiths, both in and outside Senegal. The World Bank wrote that a progressive elimination of imported coffee seems common in poorer areas of Senegal as a result of the global recession of 2009: a Senegalese restaurant owner stated, "We weren't used to consume [sic] the Tuba Coffee for breakfast, but since the crisis people drink it a lot, also children." Commercial export outside Senegal, while small, is present. In Guinea-Bissau, Café Touba has become the country's most popular drink, even though it was relatively unknown several years ago. Consumption of Café Touba increased to the point that sales of instant coffee, most notably Nescafé, decreased in West Africa. To more directly compete with Café Touba, Nestlé launched a product that contains spices, called Nescafé Ginger & Spice.
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