We receive fresh deliveries of these coffee beans several times per week. Please allow up to 2-3 working days after you order for dispatch in case we need to wait for the next delivery.
Tanzanian coffee doesn't get quite as much attention as does the coffee from its northern neighbours. In South Africa, we simply don't get as many Tanzanian specialty lots. Still, the country's best quality exports are often very special, and we've had the opportunity to savour many such examples over the years at Cape Coffee Beans. Origin Coffee Roasting has been the purveyor of many of the memorable examples, including one from the Usongwe Cooperative a couple of years ago.
Like its predecessor, this coffee is named after the Usongwe valley, whose surrounding area is full of tiny villages and smallholder coffee farmers, in a region where coffee growing is a longstanding tradition. Coffee is extremely important to the Usongwe community, having been passed down across many generations as the primary economic activity, to supplement subsistence farming of basic food crops like maize, tomatoes and other vegetables.
The Usongwe Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Society (Usongwe AMCOS) brings together 520 of the local farmers who independently grow small lots of coffee. Unsongwe producers actually process their coffee on their individual farms, albeit with the oversight of agricultural technicians who help to control quality and train the farmers to check on the process to avoid spoilage. The coffees are they centrally milled and sent for auction at the Tanzanian Coffee Board in Moshi.
Phaedon's tasting notes
Part of the fun of my job is tasting coffees of the same provenance years apart and having the opportunity to compare my notes. There certainly are flavour characteristics that seem to persist year after year, lot after lot. I was quite fond of the previous Tanzania Usongwe that Origin roasted, back in the days when the bags were still brown, and I'm also quite fond of this one.
Like the previous Usongwe lot, this coffee is bright and tangy, juicy and refreshing. There's a distinct tropical note to my palate; I wrote down mango on my first taste both this time and last. The acidity is more like citrus in some cups, but I also detected a distinct note of raspberry - I often find that in great Tanzanian coffees. There was also a whisper of dark chocolate on the finish when I brewed it in my MoccaMaster.
Speaking of brewing, this coffee is decidedly versatile: I had delicious results in all my pour-over paraphernalia, my immersion brewers and even my trusty moka pot. It's not often that such a fruity coffee will please in all these brew methods. To get flavours like these from a Kenyan or Ethiopian coffee, you'd be paying a lot more, so I'd encourage you to stock up and savour while supplies last!
- Flavour: Apple candy, blood orange, cucumber, tamarind, milo (in milk-based espresso)
- Body: Thick, juicy
- Roast: Light-medium
- Acidity: Blood orange, balanced
- Brewing: Espresso variations, plunger, AeroPress, moka pot
- Owner: Various smallholder farmers
- Cooperative: Usongwe Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Society (Usongwe AMCOS)
- Varietals: Kent, Bourbon, Compact and other local varieties
- Processing: Fully washed & sun dried on African beds
- Altitude: 1,460 masl
- Town/City: Iwindi
- Region: Mbeya
- Country: Tanzania