Mountains Over Lake Nyasa Mbinga is an up-and-coming area located just 70 km from Lake Nyassa. The region produces around 10,000 tons of coffee over a production area of 35,000 hectares. With rainfall ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 mm per year, the district has plenty of rain to nurture exceptional coffee plants. The cup profile for the Mbinga area is a medium-bold intensity with a sweet berry note and a hint of chocolate. Download Fact Sheet
Almost 40% of Tanzania's land is protected for conservation—the country has 16 national parks and numerous other forest reserves. Gombe Stream National Park, in the west, is still the ongoing site of the landmark chimpanzee study started by Jane Goodall in 1960.
Slow to Mature, Worth the Wait The coffee growing regions of Mbinga are predominately on the steep slopes of the mountains bordering Lake Nyasa. In the rainy season, coffee farms can be very difficult to access—the mountain roads look more like rivers. Because the climate is a little bit cooler than other regions, the coffee matures over a longer period, leading to bolder flavors and a much higher percentage of grade AA beans.
Farmer Cooperatives, Big and Small Several cooperatives provide beans to us in Mbinga. AMPCG cooperative is made of 23 smaller groups and produces 400 tons of parchment each season. Nambawala cooperative in Nyasa consists of 164 farmer members and was established in 1995. Kimuli cooperative is made up of 1,500 farmers, and is recognized for producing some of the highest-quality coffee in the district. We also work closely with Kingertikit and Lipo cooperatives, based in Nyasa region of the Mbinga district.
Independent Wet Mills Local cooperatives run their own wet mills in Mbinga. During harvest the farmers bring their cherries to the mill every evening. Ripe cherries pass through the wet mill and are fermented for 24 to 48 hours. After fermentation, the coffee is washed then taken to raised drying tables and left to air dry for 7 to 10 days. Once the parchment is dry, the coffee is taken to one of the three dry mills in the area. The cooperative will usually wait until they close their season before issuing the parchment for milling.

Investing in Equipment
We have a close working relationship with the farmer cooperative AMPCG (Association of Mbinga Premier Coffee Growers) and have since the group began operations in 2013. We've helped support the group financially, through agricultural training, and other projects. Currently there are three field support officers who work in partnership with the AMPCG board members as well as ten farmer trainers. The farmers within the group are spread across a very large area, which means a lot of traveling for our farmer support officers. We have established demonstration plots for practical training sessions and we assist with financial support and investments into new machinery and equipment.
Supporting Safety Programs
In 2015, our local Farmer Support Organization (FSO) worked with leaders from Kimuli to implement new safety measures. This included buying PPE equipment for farmers and supplying the central pulping units with safety equipment including fire extinguishers.
Mbinga Highlands Coffee Coffee HARVESTING AUG-OCT 2016 Multi-layered flavors of berries, honey, and chocolate, with a sweet berry acidity and medium body make this a complex, deeply satisfying cup.
  • Flavor Berry, honey-like, chocolate
  • Body Medium body intensity
  • Acidity Sweet, berry-like
  • 1 - Fragrance/Aroma
  • 2 - Flavor
  • 3 - Acidity
  • 4 - Balance
  • 5 - Body
  • 6 - Aftertaste
  • 7 - Overall
  • Cupping Score: 84+
  • Quality: Southern Highlands
  • Producer: Carefully selected farms from the Mbinga community
  • Variety: Bourbon and Kent
  • Processing: Fully washed
  • Altitude: 1500 to 1800 meters ASL
  • Harvest: August to October
  • Packing: 65lb box  What’s this?
Continue your exploration of Tanzania: Mbeya Kilimanjaro