Tanzania Arusha, pronounced "Tan-zuh-nee-uh A-roo-sha," is a coffee-growing region located in the northeastern part of Tanzania, near the border with Kenya. It sits at the base of Mount Meru, with altitudes ranging from 1,000 to 1,900 meters above sea level. An interesting fact about this region is that it is home to some of the highest quality coffee produced in Tanzania, known for its bright acidity and complex flavor profiles.
Coffee has been cultivated in the Tanzania Arusha region for more than a century. It was first introduced to the area by German settlers in the late 19th century. Over the years, coffee production expanded significantly, and Tanzania became one of the largest coffee-producing countries in Africa. Today, the Arusha region is one of the most important coffee-growing areas in Tanzania, contributing significantly to the country's economy and reputation in the specialty coffee industry.
In the Tanzania Arusha region, smallholder farmers primarily grow Arabica coffee varieties such as Bourbon, Typica, and Kent. The coffee is typically grown under shade, which helps protect the plants from excessive sunlight and temperature fluctuations. This method also helps preserve the soil's fertility and promotes biodiversity.
While specific farming and processing methods may vary between individual farms, coffee in Tanzania is generally processed using the washed method. This involves depulping the coffee cherries, fermenting the remaining mucilage to break it down, and then washing the beans to remove any remaining residue. The beans are then spread out to dry on raised beds or drying tables. This method results in a cleaner and brighter flavor profile in the final cup.
It is worth noting that some farms in the region have recently started experimenting with other processing methods, such as honey and natural processes, to diversify their offerings and cater to the evolving tastes of specialty coffee consumers.
Coffees from the Tanzania Arusha region are known for their bright acidity, medium to full body, and complex flavor profiles. Common tasting notes include red fruits such as cherry and raspberry, citrus fruits like orange and grapefruit, and floral notes like jasmine and honeysuckle. The coffees may also exhibit hints of chocolate, caramel, and spices, contributing to a well-rounded and nuanced cup.
Some Tanzanian Arusha coffees are also recognized for their peaberry beans, which consist of a single, rounded bean within the coffee cherry rather than the typical two flat-sided beans. Peaberry coffees are often considered more vibrant and concentrated in flavor due to their unique shape and density.
As the specialty coffee industry continues to evolve and consumers seek out new and unique coffee experiences, the Tanzania Arusha region is poised to remain an important player in the global coffee scene. With its rich history, diverse farming and processing methods, and distinctive flavor profiles, Tanzania Arusha coffee is sure to delight both casual coffee drinkers and seasoned enthusiasts alike.