Decaf Tanzania: Mount Meru
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Region: Mount Meru
Roast Level: Dark
Baker's chocolate, peppery spice, and a dry peanut finish.
Southwest of Mount Kilimanjaro, on the volcanic slopes of Mt. Meru, small-holders pick their coffee cherries and haul them to one of three washing stations. The coffees are bought as cherries to keep processing uniform and quality high. A dark roast allows our Tanzania’s brightness to blend with a rich body that has notes of baker’s chocolate, hints of peppery spice and a dry, peanut finish.
Most are subsistence farmers—they grow what they need to live. The men and women who bring their crops to the co-ops typically own 1-3 acres and care for 300-900 coffee trees. Some are 20 years old, some are 80. With local project manager Emil Nanyaro assessing the quality of the coffee and the community’s quality of life, the number of participating farmers has grown from 800 to 2,500.
With a simple observation, “You drink coffee. We grow coffee. You should buy our coffee,” a partnership spanning thousands of miles was born. The Mt. Meru Coffee Project is based out of Milwaukee, WI, and when we needed a decaffeinated origin, they were a great fit. Farmer-friendly beans sourced by people we know and trust. When a school teacher in Tanzania said she loves the coffee project, the Mt. Meru people asked why. She replied, “Because my kids are coming back to school.” Farmers are paid enough (now $2.20/lb) that they can again afford school fees, which pay the teachers and cover the cost of resources. When relationships are pursued and preserved, coffee will always build community.