Improved cookstoves can be found in almost any household in CREATE!’s partner communities, but did you know that you can also find improved cookstoves throughout their community gardens as well? These improved cookstoves are used to make café Touba, a popular coffee beverage that is consumed by people of all ages, almost any time of day. A volunteer in the garden site will often prepare cafe Touba on an improved cookstove while the others work, and bring it out to them in small cups to provide motivation and a short break from their tasks.

Building a cookstove to make cafe touba

Aram Nguirane, president of the Walo garden cooperative, builds a new improved cookstove outside the training center in Walo’s garden site, to be used for brewing cafe Touba for the garden volunteers.

The coffee is named after the Senegalese holy city of Touba, which is about an hour and a half north of CREATE! headquarters in Gossas.  In Arabic, Ṭūbā means happiness or blessedness. The drink was introduced to Senegal and made popular by Islamic spiritual leader Cheikh Amadou Bamba Mbacké when he returned from exile in Gabon in 1902. Today, it is sold on street corners and in markets, and shared among family and friends.

Preparing cafe touba

Volunteers prepare cafe Touba on an improved cookstove in their community garden sites to serve to cooperative members to boost their motivation and energy while they work.

Much like attaya tea, café Touba is brewed strong and sugary sweet. However, unique from other coffee beverages, it is made with cloves and Guinea pepper (or djar in Wolof), a dried fruit from the aromatic and medicinal Xylopia aethiopica tree. The coffee has a sharp, sweet and spicy flavor, and is a great refreshment in the afternoon.

How to make café Touba:

  1. Roast 100g (3.5oz) of green Robusta coffee beans together with 10g (.35 oz) djar* and 10g (.35 oz) cloves in a metal pan until they have a nice, evenly dark color.
  2. After cooling, grind in a mortar or a coffee grinder.
  3. Bring 800 ml (28 oz) of water to the boil.
  4. Place 4 tbsp of the coffee powder into a filter over a pot.
  5. Pour the boiling water carefully through the filter into the jug and let it drain completely.
  6. Repeat 2-3 times and add plenty of sugar to taste.
  7. Serve hot and enjoy!

*If you don’t have access to djar, you can substitute a mix of half-black pepper, half-cardamom for a similar flavor.

Recipe from: