Steampunk - Tanzania
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The Lunji estate near Ihombe in the Mbeya region of Tanzania
1600 - 1650 masl
Notes of Cola, Lychee and Elderflower
SCA Score - 85
The unique flavour profile of this coffee turned our heads when we first cupped it. It’s sweet from the initial aroma to the very end of the long finish. The fruit is gentle and luscious like ripe stone fruits, juicy pears or lychees. And there’s a floral/herbal element, like elderflower and camomile. It’s medium bodied, though, and there’s a definite hit of cola flavour. The overall impression is a well-balanced, complex, sweet cup. We’re planning to offer this as our more fruity espresso in the cafe, but it’s exceptional enough to shine in a pourover (or really any method you prefer).
This coffee’s origin story touches on the complicated colonial history of the coffee industry. Lunji Estate was first planted with coffee in 1898, when Tanzania was a German colony. Since then there have been several owners including for some time the German Colonial Administrator, who ran the estate until the 1970’s. When the current owners, Clemens and Stella Maier and Thomas Plattne, purchased the estate in 1994, it had fallen into disrepair. Clemens, a German, and his wife Stella, who is Tanzanian, worked to bring the farm back into production.
According to the information from our importer, Mercanta, Stella’s ability to speak the language and develop a relationship with the local community proved crucial for the wellbeing of the farm. Today, many of the people who work on the farm have been employed there for 20 years or more, and some of them are descendants of the same people who worked there in previous eras. Lunji Estate employs 27 people year-round, and this increases dramatically during the harvest and processing times.
The family have also founded a roasting business, Lunji Röstkaffee, to sell their coffee in Germany. And they’ve contributed to a green co-operative with neighbouring coffee farmers called Mwankumbi Group. Paul, Stella and Clemmens’s son, is an agronomist, barista and roaster, is also the co-operative’s chairman. His wife, Diana, runs Lunji Röstkaffee. So this coffee connects people across continents and through generations.