After months and months of waiting, we have finally received our Tanzanian coffees, aka Tweega coffees, hence why we are “tweega-ing” out. It was quite a process getting them here, but it was well worth it. Coming from the Mbeya region with rich volcanic soil, it produces a coffee with a balanced acidity, sweetness, medium body, and a heavy bold aftertaste. We have two types that we love, the Tanzania AA and Pb (pea berry), both have distinct flavors and bean shape. The Tanzania AA refers to the grade and size of the bean, this one being the largest bean. The AA is a little lighter with hints of apricot fruit while the PB is bolder with winy tones. The AA has the more recognized shape, while the pea berry is smaller and rounded. Unlike other coffee cherries, which usually have two seeds inside, the Pea Berry only has one seed. This makes the bean curve inward and round.
Coffee cherry washing station
Among the coffee trees
View of a coffee farm (around 400,000 small coffee farms in the Mbeya Region)
Hand sorting the coffees
Roasting coffee over an open fire
Fun Fact: Tweega is Swahili for “Giraffe”, referring to the long neck and the search for the perfect coffee bean.
We are definitely on the Zimbabwe train, not literally, but we do love this coffee! A few short flavor notes would be light acidity, full body, with winy and berry tones.
This coffee comes from Mozambique, situated in the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe; grown on a family farm that has been in existence for 50 years. The coffee trees on this farm were planted where deforestation occurred, the coffee pulp is used as compost, and the water they use to wash the coffees is reused in the dairy pastures.
Not only is this farm environmentally oriented and efficient, it also is very focused on the community. They provide housing, water, electricity, and health care for the workers and their families. Also during the work day, there is a school on the farm where 300 children can attend class and after school programs.
The coffee plant is an important crop to these family owned farms, the children, even the whole community; we are happy we can be a part of that!
The usual Climate
View of Chiremba
Wet processing the coffee
Recycling the water after coffees have been washed
Our Rainforest Alliance friends decided that they loved Charleston as much as we do, and wanted to host the cupping competition here again! This year we knew what to expect, so it definitely went a lot smoother, and everyone could relax and enjoy the coffees. We had two days of preliminary cupping, with 75 rainforest certified coffees from Central America and the Carribean. We had 12 official “cuppers” here another two days where the coffees were critically scored based on sweetness, uniformity, and cup cleanliness. These were long days of cupping 5 cups of each coffee, totaling 375 cups of coffee sipped and graded. This whole process of grading the coffees really helps to emphasize a link between social, ecological, economic sustainability and quality. After the cupping event, the farmers receive feedback about their coffee, how it was roasted, and how it scored.
All in all it was a fun group and everyone did a great job. After the work was done, we all got to enjoy a fun family style dinner at the always delicious Two Boroughs Larder.
Everyone that attended this years cupping!
In the process of cupping and grading the coffee
Marty, the leader of the cupping, has an amazing beard, so we decided we needed beards as well
Dinner at Two Boroughs Larder