Cream Soda, Cinnamon, Butterscotch Candy, Fig Preserves
alt: 1650-1900 MASL
According to the Tanzania Coffee Board, coffee was first introduced to Tanzania in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro in 1898. Today, the northern areas of Moshi and Arusha (at the base of Mt. Meru) and the southern area of Mbeya are known for producing some of the best quality in the country. While 90% of Tanzania’s coffee is produced by smallholder farmers, some large estates exist in the north owned and operated by European families and corporations.
In January of 2018, the Tanzania government made dramatic and sudden regulation changes that threw the Tanzanian coffee industry into disarray. Before the changes, private buyers and exporters could participate in the market, but the new regulations stipulated that only cooperatives (known as AMCOS: Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Societies) could buy cherry and parchment. As a result, farmers scrambled to organize into AMCOS, some with centralized washing stations, some doing farm/home-processed coffee.
This lot of Illoma AA was produced by the 450 smallholder farmers of the Iloma AMCOS in Songwe, Mbeya. Farmers deliver cherry to the washing station in the late afternoon and pulping runs into the evening. After pulping, the coffee parchment is separated by density into three different fermentation tanks. The coffee is then fermented for 24-48 hours, rinsed in washing channels, and dried on raised beds for 11-14 days. This past year, adding a Penagos Ecopulper reduced the number of members needed to manage the washing station from 46 to 16.