BORN FROM A SENEGALESE TRADITION
Rooted in the Senegalese tradition of sharing a gift from home with the people travelling away from it, Moussa’s sister provided him with a bag filled with Hibiscus Sabdariffa calyx plants. While starting a new life in Antwerp, being overwhelmed by the new environment, the bag of precious leaves got forgotten for five years, until Moussa felt the need to share more about his culture with his wife Sanja, who he met and lives with in the city.
Creating the first batch of “Bissap” − the term for an infusion made from this special Hibiscus plant − in his apartment kitchen, Moussa fueled their love even more with his delicious drink. It didn’t take long before Sanja asked him to create a batch of his delectable Bissap for the opening of her upcoming art project. Moussa made eight litres of Bissap from a part of the calyces for the event − where the response was overwhelmingly positive. Picking up on the love for his creation, Café In De Roscam – on Vrijdagmarkt in Antwerp – started serving it and surprising their guests with this new refreshing and healthy drink.guests with this new refreshing & healthy drink.
PIONEERING NATURAL AFRICAN FLAVOURS
From a young age Moussa had the desire to contribute to this world with something good and new. From this belief and determination he fine-tuned his recipe through optimisation of the production process and sourcing of the ingredients during his visits to Senegal. On these visits lo- cal farmers, who have been cultivating hibiscus for over a century, shared valuable and exclusive knowledge with Moussa about the plant and how to get the best out of it.
Moussa’s brother, Dr Gaye, who has bee ninvestigating and using Hibiscus in medical products for over fifteen years, contributed with scientific knowledge on preserving the plant’s benefits in the composition of the drink. Gradually the recipe got finalised into what it is today, a unique- tasting, refreshing drink packed with health benefits loved and shared by people from all origins and ages.
With the arrival of Moussa’s “Ginger Fever” and “Jungle Juice” creations, he is pioneering more African flavours into the Western market, surprising people with the wildest tastes and best health benefits African nature has to offer.
ABOUT THE ORIGINAL
“Moussa’s Bissap The Original” is the perfect alternative for any alcoholic drink or sugary lemonade. With its well-balanced hibiscus and mint flavour it is as rich in drinking experience as it is refreshing and created from the best organic ingredients straight from the African continent with passion and care.
ABOUT JUNGLE JUICE
While enjoying natural well water and the stories of four boys and the forest, its fruits and animals, Sanja tasted the fruit Moussa grew up with. Detarium Senegalense grows in the deepest wild of West Africa’s Casamance forests − an extraordinary hand- picked fruit
ABOUT GINGER FEVER
Following up on the succes of “The Original” was a chal- lenge Moussa took without hesitation. As ginger pairs wonderfully well with hibis- cus, creating “Ginger Fever” was a logic next step. Made with the best African ginger roots and care-fully balanced, “Ginger Fever” is the perfect drink for those who like “The Original” with an extra bite of spiciness.
in withstanding covid-19 2020
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on Moussa’s Bissap
“Ten years ago people barely knew about bissap but now it’s everywhere. Even the big supermarkets are selling it”
Many believe hibiscus can help regulate blood pressure, as well as acting as an anti-inflammatory, a mild laxative and an aphrodisiac.
In fact, bissap is thought to carry a plethora of healthy goodies. A recent study by Tufts University concluded that it was a good regulator of blood pressure, reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems. Others cite it as an anti-inflammatory, and as a mild laxative. The ancient Egyptians, it is said, believed it to be an aphrodisiac.
While Ndoye keeps a supply of her hibiscus for home use, and the cows occasionally manage to take their share, most of her harvest is drunk not in Senegal but in Belgium, where entrepreneur Moussa Faye sells it for €6 a litre.
Originally from the town of Ziguinchor, in the Casamance region of Senegal, Faye moved to Belgium 17 years ago. Each time he went back to Senegal he organised for some dried hibiscus flowers to be sent to his new home and make bissap for his wife, Sanja, and friends. He made a few litres for a friend who owned a café, but it sold out almost immediately. Eventually Faye decided to drop his former job in IT and start his company, Moussa’s Bissap.
“People kept asking for more and more,” Faye tells me over Skype from Antwerp. “My wife and I had always wanted to bring something honest and pure into the world and we realised this could be it. I realised bissap was my calling.”
At the beginning, in 2013, the business operated out of the family’s kitchen, with Faye’s children helping to stick on the labels. Today, you can find Moussa’s Bissap in café’s, restaurants and shops across Belgium, as well as online.
“We came along at the right moment,” explains Faye. “Europe needed something new. Something healthy and refreshing that also tasted good. And bissap combines these things.”
His current line is a classic mint- infused version, though he’s planning to release two variants later this year, one with ginger, by popular demand, and another with a little-known Senegalese fruit known as detar. The drink comes in glass bottles, with a label designed by Faye’s wife.
“Ten years ago, people barely knew about bissap, but now it’s everywhere. The big supermarkets are selling it,” says Faye.