Complex Cup: Tanzania Mahenje AB
Boasting a complex cup from hot to cold, the Tanzania Mahenje AB offering from Cafe Imports always has us reaching for more. Great at all roast levels, this green provides a layered drinking experience serving as a beautiful single-origin to offer customers. In the cup, we’re getting notes of rooibos tea, lychee, and blood orange with a lingering sweetness on the palate, making for an all-around pleasant drinking experience.
Region & History
Narrow valleys and steep high mountains make up most of the growing land in the Mbozi district of the Songwe region. The Mbozi district is one of the main coffee-producing regions in Tanzania, with over 70% of production contributing to Mbozi’s economy.
Coffee production in Tanzania remains one of the country’s most important and largest crop exports, first introduced through German and Jesuits colonization. With the colonial rule, other priority crops, and plant illnesses, coffee production began with a rough start. Many of these setbacks have left coffee consumers wondering what Tanzania’s potential in the industry could have looked like.
We’re seeing some of this potential shine through today with new innovations at the farm from small-holder cooperatives and high-growing estates. Only recently has Tanzania been recognized for specialty coffees as they gain better infrastructure and resources at origin.
Harvest in Tanzania usually runs between July to December in the North and South, but in the West, it’s expected around May to October. Once cherries are harvested, farmers will send coffee through hand pulpers and process it themselves. Otherwise, cherries are delivered to a central pulping unit that many co-operatives use and own.
Once beans have undergone washing and drying they go through Tanzania’s grading system. This ultimately determines the cost of the greens. The bigger the bean (AA) the higher the coffee is priced with the exception of the smallest bean size, Peaberry (PB), being the most sought-after specifically in the US and Japan.
How We’re Roasting It
Bryant shares some insight about this offering. “Tanzania is a change of pace if you’re looking to branch out of the surrounding countries. Across all roast levels, there is a pleasant earthiness, and this coffee likes to open up best around the light or dark end of a medium roast level. On the lighter side, you get tea-like qualities with sweet citrus and herbaceous notes. Push this coffee further and it starts getting winey with a bigger body, and deeper sweetness. Beyond this, that full body should carry nicely to touch 2nd crack making it perfect for those looking to get some roast flavor.”
Stay tuned for more deep dives into our green offering and how you can utilize them in your roastery.