THE FUTURE OF COFFEE PRODUCTION
Tanzania, #4 in coffee exportation of African countries, is also in the top 20 of the world’s largest coffee producers. Since almost 400,000 small families depend on coffee production, these factors greatly contribute to the growth of the economy and the heart of Tanzanian communities.
Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Southern Highlands of Mbeya and Ruvuma, coffee is often intercropped with bananas, making it a truly exotic, East African coffee. Tanzania Robusta coffee is grown in the Northwestern areas of Tanzania, along Lake Victoria in the Kagera region. This variety tends to have a stronger, bitter taste compared to Arabica.
TANZANIA COFFEE NOTES
Tanzanian coffees tend to be pleasantly fragrant in aroma, have a fruity taste, and be bright and rich acidity due to the nutrients from volcanic soils. Northern coffees are medium-bodied with bright acidity and sweet, fruity, floral aromatics. Southern coffees are full-bodied with medium acidity and lemon and peach notes.
TOTAL AREA & ALTITUDES
For Tanzania, Arabica coffee makes up about 70% of the country’s total production, whereas Robusta only makes up about 30%. It is estimated that the total coffee area is about 654,000 acres for both Arabica and Robusta. Most of the coffee milling is complete from April to May. The harvesting periods for the main crop are:
• North: July through December
• South: July through December
• West: May through October
Tanzania uses dry processing methods and has opted for British nomenclature of grading, which is complete according to shape, size, and density. The grades include: AA, AB, PB, C, E, F, AF, TT, UG, and TEX.
Beans are categorized according to the screen size:
• Large Bean: screen 17/18, Grades AA & E
• Medium Bean: screen 15/16, Grades AB & PB
• Small Bean: screen 13/14, Grade C.
TANZANIA COFFEE MARKETS
Internal Markets: farmers who sell at farm gate prices to private coffee buyers, farmer groups, and cooperatives. Coffee is sold in the form of cherry or parchment.
Coffee Auction Markets: auctions are conducted every week on Thursdays during the season, which generally lasts 9 months. Licensed exporters come to the auction and buy coffee from suppliers ranging from individual farmers, groups, cooperatives, or from private buyers.
Direct Export Markets: Growers of premium top grade coffees are allowed to bypass the auction and sell their coffee directly to consumers. Direct export enables growers to establish long term relationships with roasters and international traders.