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Motlopi coffee: Meet Indigenous Java Roasters

PAULINE DIKUELO
Motlopi Coffee
Consumption of coffee is documented to come with various health benefits that include, but not limited to, helping burn fats in the body, assist in staying alert and it may also lower the risk of Type II diabetes.

Coffee is one of the most popular hot beverages around the world, and different brands have different aromas, which plays a big part in selecting a coffee of choice. For a Lobatse native Nomsa Dichabe, she fell in love with the taste of the Motlopi Coffee and its rich aroma the first time she tasted it.

Dichabe shares with BusinessMonitor that she struggled to get the Motlopi Coffee into retailer’s shelves as the woman who shared the coffee with her was only producing it for her home consumption. It was then that Dichabe decided to commercialise it after finding a niche in the market and she start her own brand Motlopi Coffee, which is packaged in 300g bottles. The business was established last year in October “I sat down with her and asked her to help me with production as I could see the potential this magical beverage has,” Dichabe explains. “She was kind enough to agree, and she taught me everything I know about producing motlopi. We still work together when I have big orders.”

The determined Dichabe and her partner took their savings as they embarked on the entrepreneurial journey.  They gather their roots from Mokhomma,  a village located few kilometres away from Jwaneng township in the Kgalagadi area.

“Our coffee comes from the deep, heart of the African Botswana soil, and it is hand crafted to perfection. Our process of making coffee starts off by cutting part of the roots so that the tree does not die. Then drying it and pounding it into powder and finally roasting it

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to get the rich coffee aroma and taste,” Dichabe adds. She says their first client was actually a gentleman from Lobatse who was intrigued by its taste. He called a month later to testify that the beverage has helped him stabilise his blood pressure.

Dichabe points out that their biggest hurdle currently is getting enough resources to expand their production capacity as they are failing to meet the demand, because they are doing everything manually. “It’s our goal to secure grinding and shredding machinery to help with the production, because locals have welcomed our product and the demand keeps growing every day. We take orders through our WhatsApp and our Facebook page,” she said.

“We deliver to Gaborone three times a week and we also use courier to reach other parts of the country.”

She says their hope of expanding the business was put on hold after realising that the government had suspended the Youth Development Fund (YDF) programme.

“Covid has not really affected our business since we get all raw materials in Botswana. Also, Batswana have been very supportive of local businesses, since the COVID-19pandemic. It’s just very unfortunate that in these trying times, we are not able to get funding we had hoped to get from the ministry of youth’s YDF programme, which did not take place last year due to COVID-19.”

On future prospects, Dichabe says they are eyeing to grow the brand, penetrate the retail space and even export their coffee to other countries. They are also looking to diversify the product and also make iced coffee.



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