The March 2016 Bean of the Month at Merlo Coffee is this delectable coffee from Tanzania’s Shiwanda Estate.
Origin: Tanzania Region: Mbeya
Estate: Shiwanda Process: Washed
Varietal: Arabica Altitude: >1500m
About the region:
This coffee comes from the historic Shiwanda Estate in Mbeya, Tanzania. Revived in 1998, the estate is situated between Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi and takes up approximately 1,300 acres; 300 of which is dedicated to cultivating coffee.
Shiwanda Estate uses varietals from the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TACRI) which aims to improve the country’s coffee industry.
TACRI’s mission is to increase competitiveness of Tanzanian coffee on the world market, and ultimately increase incomes, reduce poverty, and improve the livelihoods of coffee growers.
Coffee originally came to Tanzania with French missionaries in the late 1800s and was planted around Kilimanjaro for the most part.
It has been a mainstay of the country’s agriculture–based economy ever since, with more than 450,000 farm families (95%) and 110 estates (5%) deriving their livelihoods from growing coffee with an estimated 2,000,000 additional people employed being directly or indirectly in the industry.