Nestled into southern central Africa, the Republic of Malawi forms a landlocked strip of a plateau surrounded by Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania. It is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa with over 13 million people living in only 118,000 square kilometers, of which 20% is water. Coffee was introduced to Malawi in the late 1800’s by the British and peaked in production at about 70,000 bags during the 1990’s. Flowering happens from December to February, and a May to September harvest follows. Generally all coffees are washed, dried on raised beds, and exported in 60 kg jute bags.
To our understanding, the Geisha variety has been grown in Malawi since 1932. This Geisha has a slightly smaller bean structure and after buying our first lot in 2007, we found many Yirgacheffe-like similarities in the cup. On Café Import’s 3rd trip to this origin, Jason cupped samples from 65 different subzones, attaining a clear perspective on the availabilty of great coffees in this region. The specialty coffees coming out of Malawi are still very much a work in progress, but in that we find excitement in the expected increase of quality over time.
Come join us at 9am on Friday, May 20th for a free tasting of two roast levels of this Malawi and vote for your favorite to reach the shelves!