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Heavy bodied cup, notes of cascara, spice, apricot and raisin with a lingering citrus melody.
Process: Fully washed
Coffea arabica came to Tanzania with Jesuits and German colonization, and it was likely quite similar Bourbon varieties still grown to this day. Original strains of coffees from the isle of Bourbon (now Reunion) were distributed through East Africa in this period, sometimes named for missionary groups who brought them such as French Mission Bourbon or Scottish Mission Bourbon.
Coffee is grown in the North and South zones and there is good quality potential from both areas, although buyers are more familiar with the northern Kilimanjaro and Meru coffees from around Arusha and Moshi. There is also potential in Kigoma area near Lake Tanganyika. The Kagera area near Lake Victoria is a robusta growing zone, with coffea canephora making up some 25% of all coffee grown in Tanzania. In the south, Mbinga in the Songea area has produced a solid cup, and the drier Mbeya region is perfect for coffee growing and processing.
The Tanzania coffee character is typical of East African washed (wet-processed) coffees: It is generally bright (acidic), and almost aggressively flavorful. Lack of balance can be an issue sometimes, but the main risks are faulty flavors from bad fermentation, and storage or transit damage. The abundance of bureaucracy around coffee exportation, especially when you try to do something mildly innovative like a shipment of mixed micro-lots, can result in coffee stuck at the sweltering hot port of Dar Es Salaam. Even hermetic packaging like Grainpro-lined jute bags, or vacuum packing, does not prevent damage to the cup quality of coffee under these conditions.
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