Over 1,250 independent small farmholders from Mkigo village produce our Tanzania Mkigo Kigoma Peaberry coffee. A majority are female farmers, each producing anywhere between 5 and 30 bags of Tanzanian Peaberry coffee. Their farms average 5 acres in size with a capacity of about 540 trees, and an annual yield of roughly a single ton. The cup has a sweet lemon candy aroma and notes of candied citrus and tart raspberry with a hint of lemon. We found a slightly lighter roast produces a medium body with balanced acidity and a nice snap.
Tanzania borders a few of the great East African coffee producers, namely Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda and Uganda. The tropical savanna climate of Kigoma provides ideal conditions for the production of arabica coffee, a major source of income for regional growers that provides wages for more than 400,000 farming families. Tanzania Mkigo Kigoma Peaberry farmers are paid a premium for high quality coffee cherries, helping to increase production and improve the community livelihood. Thanks to Tanzania’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Kibwigwa farmers producing coffee and other cash crops directly benefit from a series of social programs that include low interest farming loans and affordable medical insurance.
The Kigoma region comprises a large 17,000 square acre expanse of mostly rural farmland, in northwestern Tanzania that borders Burundi. The Kigoma plateau ranges in elevation from about 5,740 ft (1750 m) down to 2,600 ft (800 m) at the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Tanganyika, considered one of Africa’s Great Lakes, is an ancient freshwater lake visible from Earth’s upper atmosphere and has over 1,100 miles of shoreline and an average depth of over 1,800 ft. It is the world’s second-largest freshwater lake by volume and borders four African nations: Tanzania, Burundi, The Democratic Republic of The Congo and Zambia. Incredibly it is also the world’s second-oldest and second-deepest freshwater lake.
Mkigo utilizes its own independent processing substation that works hand-n-hand with Kigoma’s Mwayaya agricultural research facility, operated by the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI). The Mwayaya facility is exclusively dedicated to coffee production, development and education for Kigoma and it’s neighboring regions. Producers of our Tanzania Mkigo Kigoma Peaberry utilize this facility to gain access to technological innovations that enhance profitability and improve productivity, quality and their communities’ livelihood. The Mwayaya facility is located less than six miles from the Burundi border, and promotes land conservation, sustainable farming and ecofriendly growing practices.
Peaberry is a term that refers to the common, naturally-occuring mutation when a coffee cherry develops only a single bean during growth. Typically coffee cherries create two nearly identical beans, each with a flattened edge. Peaberry mutation occurs in roughly 5% of all harvests, but is more predominant in Tanzania coffees. Peaberry beans are generally sought after for their brighter cup profiles; they are also more rounded or oval in shape, and thus tend to have a different roast profile which is part of the reason for separating them into peaberry-only lots.
Cooperative growing is the norm in Tanzania with independent, small farms accounting for approximately 90% of the annual production. Practically all of Tanzania’s exported coffee is of the washed type, and although there is a small contingent of robusta grown at lower altitudes, the vast majority is arabica. In the late 1800s German colonists were responsible for arabica’s introduction and with it an array of laws that mandated its cultivation. Historically the Haya tribe in the northwest were the only people that possessed a documented, pre-German use of coffee, believed to have arrived from Ethiopia via Kenya.
|Producer:||Small Farmholders of Mkigo|
|Altitude:||5,019 - 5,577 ft (1530 -1700m)|
|Harvest:||June - December|