Houston has such a diverse mixture of cultures that you can drive 10 minutes in any direction and be able to sample food from any part of the world. So, it’s not surprising that you can also find different coffee recipes from around the world as well. Every culture has their own variation of coffee, whether for ceremony or just to cover the taste of burnt low quality beans. Today I’m starting a series that I will be updating periodically, focusing on the different ethnic coffee drinks that you can find in Houston.
The first coffee up is Café Touba. This coffee drink can be found in the Senegal and surrounding areas of West Africa. Café Touba is traditionally a mixture of coffee roasted with djar (a Guinea pepper) and cloves. When served it is prepared like regular coffee and then heavily sweetened. Purportedly the recipe was create by the Sufi spiritual leader Sheikh Amadou Bamba in the late 19th century for it’s medicinal properties and named after it’s holy city: Touba. Today Café Touba can be found in every café and street vendor and has become so popular that Nescafe had to develop a new type of instant coffee to compete.
In Houston you can find Café Touba at Doshi House coffee shop in the third ward. They prepare it there by hand grinding the spices and then adding them to the coffee in a French press. After the coffee finishes the infusion process it is then poured into the cup and sweetened. The result is a syrupy sweet clove taste that lingers on the tongue. I found it to be a very calming experience even though it is sweet but I drink my coffee black so if you are used to adding sugar then it will probably taste just right. Drinking a Café Touba inside Doshi House is an experience in and of itself which I highly recommend for slowing down a busy day.