Mbili Twiga PB - Tanzania

REGION: Kilimanjaro & Arusha
VARIETIES: Bourbon (N39) & Kent
ALTITUDE: 1400 -1800 MASL
NOTES: Blackberry, brown sugar, floral
This peaberry washed lot from farmers in the Kilimanjaro and Arusha regions of Tanzania is a real treat. Mbili Twiga translates as 'two giraffes', thus named as both the Karatu estate and the Makiidi RCS cooperative contribute to this coffee. We're tasting dark fruits reminding us of blackberries, as well as brown sugar sweetness and a subtle, tea-like florality. 
The first coffee grown in the Kilimanjaro region was planted by Catholic missionaries in Kilema at the end of the 19th Century. Throughout the 20th century western demand for coffee grew and as a result cultivation spread through many regions of Tanzania. Appearing first by locals growing as a cash crop in 1919, they came together to form an Association to protect their interests after settling westerners expressed concern over diseases and pests being caused by the expanding cultivation of coffee. The Cooperative model continues with Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Societies (AMCOS), including Rural Cooperative Societies (RCS), working with producers, and Cooperative Unions being licensed to handle the exporting as well as larger Estates. Around 90% of coffee is produced by smallholder farmers with less than 1 hectare, with around 110 Estates growing the other 10%.
This coffee is a blend, and was named Mbili Twiga to reflect this coming together. Mbili Twiga translates as two giraffes. Bourbon was introduced by the French Missionaries and is common in the Kilimanjaro area, alongside Kent which was introduced from India. Hybrid and cultivar varieties from both of these now exist. N39 is a cultivar of Tanzania, from the Bourbon lineage selected back in the 1920’s though further selection is still ongoing through this line, and often still referred to as Bourbon. KP423 was selected in the 1930’s and is still commonly referred to as Kent, though is much less common with newer varietals taking over now. Both, importantly have good drought tolerance and cup profile in the area.

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