TANZANIA

Mwika North PB

$6.17$8.87 Per Pound

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Additional information

Country

Continent

Region

Kilimanjaro, North

Community Name

Mwika North AMCOS

Processing Method

Arrival Date

May 2022

Cupping Notes Upon Arrival

85 – Grapefruit, cocoa powder, lemon, orange, vanilla

Elevation

1675 MASL

Varietals

Bourbon, Jackson Bourbon

Flavor Profile

Citrus

Fresh Filter

Current Crop 4-12 Months

Description

Referred to by locals as one of the ‘gateways’ to Kilimanjaro, the town of Mwika has a centuries-long history of coffee. First brought to Tanzania by Germans to a place called Kaleme Church in 1835, a man named Zebadoya who was rewarded for his service to the Church with a charter to plant coffee—which he brought back home to Mwika. Though he was technically the only person the Church authorized to plant coffee in that area, coffee started sprouting in the gardens of Zebadoya’s friends, family and neighbors. As the population grew in the 1900s, so too did help for increasingly bigger harvests. Workers brought cherry back to their homes and planted it, too, spreading the coffee further to Kilimanjaro.

As the Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU) began to founder, Mwika was the first Agricultural Marketing Co-operative Societies (AMCOS) to split. Through KNCU, payments were slow, transparency was lacking and farmers were angry: in 2012 those from Mwika petitioned the government to intervene, and were allowed to form their own group. They formed three groups, in fact; Mwika North, the highest altitude of the three, consider themselves the original.

In their first year, Mwika North received training from the Technoserve-backed Kilicafe project, collected 40 tonnes of parchment, and built their own washing station (referred to in Tanzania as a “Central Processing Unit” or CPU). But over the past decade, support from Kilicafe ended and with it ended sales to specialty customers like Starbucks. Their CPU only operated one harvest—the cost of gas so high up the mountain was simply too expensive.

So despite all of their capacity and potential, Mwika North sat untouched like a diamond in the rough.

We’re excited to have built a relationship with this group—precisely because of that capacity, potential and determination. And in January 2020, Mwika once again processed cherry through its CPU—which reopened against all odds due to strong leadership and partnerships throughout the value-chain. The result was a sweeter, juicier cup with more controlled drying, and a whole new standard on what good can taste like in Tanzania.=