This micro lot is grown in the Village of Mapita in the Mbeya Rural District in Tanzania by a group of 50 farmers, who have been with TEMBO since 2014. This Typica and Bourbon coffee is grown at an altitude of 1790masl.
Along with Mbozi District of the Mbeya Region, these areas produce over half of Tanzania’s Arabica coﬀee but has previously struggled to attract investment. With the Tanzanian coﬀee market made up of over 95 % small holder’s supporting roughly 4.5 million people. Each small holding is up to 5 acres in size where farmers grow staple crops such as maize an bananas alongside coﬀee. Education and investment are key for growth. On average it is estimated that farmers produce 1.3kg of cherry per tree, with each farmer owning 2 hectares with approximately 1250 trees. The work of TEMBO is key in reaching these small holders and helping them work together to improve their yields and quality of the coﬀee they produce to increase their income. TEMBO which was founded in 2013 invested in a green grading facility to improve and classify the coﬀee before it is exported, they employ 15 people at this facility and out in the ﬁeld. TEMBO are also continually reviewing their practises and have started initiating a two year farmer training program involving best agricultural practises as well as business training (agro business, supply chain, coﬀee market knowledge, accounting) focusing on individual farmers to increase the impact and yield for smallholders. The micro lot we have selected has come from TEMBO’s supreme cup range (cup score 84+).
During the harvest through the months of June to September the coﬀee is hand-picked and then pulped using a hand eco-pulper which can allow 300kgs of cherry to be passed through a day. After pulping the beans are then passed through washing channels to identify any ﬂoaters. They are then left to ferment for 48-72 hours in clean water allowing the build-up of acids like lactic and acetic which drop the pH of the water and are believed to eat away at the mucilage surrounding the beans. This gives rise to the clean and bright cups we associate with East African Coﬀees. Once fermentation has ﬁnished the beans are then washed again and go through a second washing to remove mucilage and identity ﬂoaters. After this, they are then transferred to raised African drying beds where they are turned regularly to ensure even drying, taking between 6-15 days depending on the climate. Once the adequate moisture level is reached the beans are then transferred to TEMBO’s facility where the coﬀee is once again screened with gravity tables and a colour spectrum for quality before removing the parchment ready for export between October and February.