This offering from southern Tanzania boasts aromas of vanilla bean and red delicious apple with notes of candied almonds and tamarind in the cup. A juicy body and key lime acidity balance out the coffee's richness, leading to a satisfying dark chocolate and prune finish.
Producer: Edison Mwakalasya
Farm: Mwalyego AMCOS
Altitude: 4,900 feet
Varietal: Kent, Bourbon, N39
Notes: Vanilla Bean, Candied Almond, Prune
Imported by our friends at Crop to Cup, who write:
"With recent policy changes in Tanzania's coffee sector (this month), we are all the more appreciative of our partners, and of their leadership.
In Mwalyego this leader is Edison Mwakalasya, who continues on come high or low harvest. The following is from a conversation we recently had with him, checking-in on this past harvest:
I am [still] training other groups to produce bio-fertilizer in the areas where network [extension services] is not available. About my group [Mwalyego Amcos], we have 5 more members this year. But harvest is down. Last season yield was 35 tons of parchment, [and] was 23 tons this season. We added portable drying tables 50 pieces of 2 meters each.
In summary—despite a low harvest they are still increasing membership while managing to invest in both plant health and processing practices. That's welcome news.
From here, the conversation went on to policy. New regulations remove the direct export option, requiring all coffees go through the national auction. This change is now effective. And it's not wholly bad. Mwalyego can set a high reserve price for their coffee, scaring all but the most specialty of buyers away. Plus, the auction is a good system for transparency and price discovery—at least when it comes to setting a floor.
That said, this system will remove incentive for exporters to provide extension services (credit, training, seedlings, fertilizer, other farm inputs). It also mandates that additional premiums paid through this system go towards community works, not extra income for members.
The government proposes to step in where the private sector can no longer invest; we hope the transition is quick and increases access, as there is much work to be done. Many farms in Tanzania require more investment to replant aging trees and to address drying practices - two key crossroads in Tanzania's path of self-improvement."