Kivu Congo Coffee & White Elephant Drink

It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere

You know the popular saying, “You haven’t explored a place unless you’ve explored it twice?” No? Okay, we just made it up. But for real though, healthy eating habits for adults are out there and they want us to find them! We searched and delivered food in Congo recipes as well as African drinks recipes. We brought back the best African coffee recipe and a rum coconut cocktail that you must try. Some of these recipes are taken from the depths of Kivu Congo, and made into drinks sold in the everyday Congo restaurants. Now it’s time for some of these recipes to be brought to your table. Curious about a no-animal-meat food lifestyle? Peep instagram to see what I eat live😊.

Congo white elephant cocktail

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Exploring African drinks

kivu coffee, best African coffee for breakfast
Kivu coffee for breakfast

Healthy eating habits for adults don’t stop at the food you eat but extend to what you drink. We all know it is vital to drink plenty of water, but if you’re looking for something a little more fun and flavorful, have an African drink. We have already brought you drinks like the Zoborodo (Hibiscus tea) that pumps up your vitamin C levels. Or even the Kenyan Dawa that is perfect when paired with a sunset. But here, we will only focus on two drinks that can be found as part of food in Congo. And they have featured in this article on Best Congolese Drinks, but they needed their own spotlight.

Kivu Congo: unknown gem

Now, the two chosen ones. First, we have a drink straight out of the province of Kivu Congo. The best African coffee, named after where it comes from because it simply cannot be replicated anywhere else. Coffee is known to come from South America, but at some point coffee was Congo’s top export. It is less known now, but this treasure still lives. Kivu Congo Coffee beans are grown in fertile and volcanic soils. What better conditions can you have for coffee? The taste is bold, with strong tobacco flavors. It is very silky, and depending on any spices you add, it can be syrupy too. Spice suggestions for this best African coffee are cardamom and ginger. The ginger makes it less syrupy and milder but also warmer. 

Mmm, cardamom and ginger. This almost sounds like the Kenyan Chai Ya Mkandaa. If you read more on it, you’ll find that ginger can help ease digestion and boost your immune system. When paired with Cardamom, you get an earthy flavor, as well as relieving any nausea symptoms. 

Congo White Elephant: rum coconut cocktail drink

On a different note, we have an African drink that isn’t region-specific. In fact, you can get the ingredients needed for this in nearly any tropical area. This drink is the Congo White Elephant. It is a favorite in Congo because it is cheap to make or buy, found in local restaurants, and it tastes amazing. I mean, who doesn’t like coconuts?? Coconuts are especially liked as food in Congo, even having cultural significance. Both the meat and juice are used, raw or cooked, and even the wood does not go to waste; being used to make things like furniture. 

Congo white elephant drink ingredients

So what do you need to make this rum coconut cocktail? Sugar, white rum, coconut water, and coconut milk/cream. It isn’t too sweet, matching those healthy eating habits for adults (wink, wink) and the rum gives you a light buzz. If you like it more watery, use the coconut water, but for some thickness and stronger coconut flavor, we recommend the cream. For a little pizazz, garnish it with coconut shreds or flakes. You can pair this with any food in Congo, but it is actually quite filling on its own. 

Don’t be afraid to personalize this African drink by swapping out the rum for bourbon whisky or cinnamon whisky. Just don’t mix them, unless you want to feel nauseous. But hey, if you have some cardamom close by… I kid. 

Related: Food In Congo-Best Congolese Drinks

Thank you, food in Congo!

So you see how food in Congo can match healthy eating habits for adults? It’s good to have a little flavor with your African drinks as well as your African food. And variety is great too, which is why Humble Vege is exploring all the recipes it can. Join the journey and develop a new sense of appreciation for traditional African recipes. 


Kivu Coffee & White Elephant Cocktail

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

A pick-me-up African drink anyone? Kivu Congo coffee or experience the national drink; wine up or down. Food in Congo has best African coffee and rum coconut cocktail that can be a dessert. Check it out.


  • 1.5 cup water
  • 1 tsp cardamon powder
  • 3 pods cardamon
  • 2.5 TBSP ground Kivu coffee


Stovetop/open flame method

  • To make your Kivu coffee, start by adding 1.5 cup water to a pot and turn the heat to Low. This African drink can be made also using the coal pot method. Then, get your fresh Kivu Congo coffee beans and proceed to grind them using a coffee grinder. Fresh is best.
  • Next, measure 1 tsp of cardamon powder and 3 pods of cardamon. These spices will be added to make the best African coffee. Before the water gets hot or begins to boil, add 2.5 tablespoons of Kivu coffee and proceed to boil it for 3 mins. Using the stovetop method yields a bold taste and you will taste a strong tobacco flavor with a silky after-taste, which may be due to the cardamon. I believe cardamon brings
    out the syrupy flavors that are already in the coffee. Bottom-line, you will get bold flavor with Kivu Congo coffee.
  • Do not stir the coffee & spice mixture until after the liquid begins to boil. After 3mins of boiling, turn off the heat and allow the mixture to sit until the coffee grinds settle to the bottom.
  • Next, proceed to pour your hot coffee directly into your drinking cup. You could also use a sifter. Sugar or honey is optional. I typically drink mine without sugar or honey, it helps to detect rich flavors in the drink.

Coffee press method

  • Understanding adults' busy work-life, the coffee press method is another option to use. To make your Kivu Congo coffee, add the desired amount of ground coffee to the coffee press.
  • Add your desired flavor spices. This time, I used 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger chunks and 1 teaspoon of ginger powder. Next, pour boiling water into the coffee/spice mixture and proceed to stir the mixture. Then, close the coffee press. Allow it to sit for 5mins.
  • Finally, enjoy your best African coffee made from Kivu Congo. Note: Ginger makes your Kivu coffee more warming with a less syrupy/silky taste. It seems adding ginger made the bold coffee flavor less mild.

Recipe for Congo White Elephant


1 tsp sugar (optional)  
2 oz (1/4cup) coconut water 
2 oz (1/4 cup) coconut milk
1 shot glass white rum
Coconut shreds/flakes sweetened (garnish)

Taste (A)

  • To make Congo White Elephant, start by adding 1 shot of rum to your mixing cup. Next, add the coconut water, coconut milk, and sugar. Stir all to combine (the sugar settles to the bottom so stir longer to dissolve.)
  • Pour your drink into a glass and garnish with coconut flakes. Dessert or Cocktail? You be the judge, enjoy!

This version tastes mildly sweet (low even) and the mild coconut flavor is mild. The consistency is watery due to adding coconut water but I think it allows for a smooth drink. You can munch on the coconut garnish. Using 1 shot of rum amount gives you a light buzz. I don’t like too much sweetness so I love this one. A dessert alcohol drink for sure.

Taste (B)

1 tsp sugar
2 oz (1/4cup) coconut Cream
2 oz (1/4 cup) coconut milk, 1 shot glass white rum and coconut shreds/flakes sweetened (garnish).

  • Add all the ingredients (except for the garnish) and mix to combine. Pour your rum coconut cocktail into a glass and enjoy.

This version yields a high coconut flavor resulting from coconut cream &  coconut milk. Also, the consistency is slightly thicker due to the addition of cream and it tastes semi-sweet so you can add more sugar if you want.

SERVING: All ingredients mentioned makes 1 serving. This is why I was able to experiment with other types of alcohol flavors.


The takeaway from Kivu Congo coffee: it gives a strong bold coffee flavor you would expect from shops like Starbucks. When the first sip touch my palette, I thought it reminded me of Starbucks and I get to make it at home. Also, I watched for the spike in energy, which surprisingly came in small steady forms instead of the rush of energy.

PRO TIP: Love fireball? or cinnamon whisky or bourbon whiskey?

Swap out the rum for either of these and you will love it! Don’t mix rum with whisky because the flavors will clash with the coconut and it might make you nauseous. Coconut is a meaty food and is best if the coconut flavor is at the forefront.

TIP: Did you know this alcohol is also filling? Thanks to the coconut addition (milk, water, shreds, all of it makes it filling).

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