Yet another depressing thing about Ricoffy

It never fails to amaze me that, in the continent that hosts the original coffee plants, we continue to suffer with instant coffee pretty much everywhere. In the highlands of northern Tanzania, where there is some dynamite coffee grown and roasted, you’re still likely to be served instant at most guesthouses or mid-range hotels. Thankfully, this IS changing.

In Zambia it’s worse. “Ricoffy” is a chicory-based instant which is popular in South Africa, and is just about the only thing you can find in most Zambian hotels and restaurants. Chicory coffee is … well, not to my taste, to say the least. Sour, flat-tasting ink.

This morning, at a lodge on the Luangwa River, I was treated to a cup of our old friend Ricoffy (served in a nice looking coffee pot and everything, piping hot) and, gritting my teeth, decided to down it for at least the caffeine. Mid-way through my second cup I began to wonder – two cups of Tanzania’s finest instant*, Africafe, actually gives me the jitters and I have to stop – but I could feel nothing.

A little research later, thanks to EnergyFiend:

“Nescafe’ Ricoffy contains 0.79 mgs of caffeine per fluid ounce (2.66mg/100mls)”**

So, about 1/10 of what you’d get out of an espresso. Erk.


  • Stick to tea.
  • It is totally cool that there is a website called “” devoted to caffeine.


*Which is actually a pretty fine acceptable cup of coffee …

**Based on data from the Nescafe site and the can itself.