Iyenga AB 250g
At this time of year we always look forward to receiving a coffee from Tanzania, and this year we have a new coffee for us, Iyenga. This coffee is the collective effort of numerous farmers living around the town of Iyenga, in the Mbozi District of Tanzania. Each farmer has less than 5 hectares on which to grow crops, which include maize, peanuts and beans, as well as coffee. Many also keep one or two cows and some poultry.
While the majority of the coffee is processed at the central mill, some is still processed by hand on the farm. In order to have more control over the quality of the cherry and pulped coffee that arrives at the mill, the cooperative has developed a transportation system to collect coffee from all famers. Iyenga hires cars and motorbikes which go to visit farmers who have notified leaders in advance that they are harvesting that day. A secretary is appointed during the harvest season to arrange logistics.
Iyenga is a fully washed coffee: All coffee cherry delivered to the mill is pulped within eight hours of being picked. Processing activities start at around 4 pm daily and end at 8 pm. After pulping (80 percent of the mucilage is removed by the ecological pulping machine), coffee is delivered to the fermentation tanks where it is fermented without water for 10-12 hours. Fermented coffee is then taken to the washing channels where it is washed and graded using fresh water. The wet mill has well-designed washing channels that facilitate the work and minimise the use of water throughout this process.
After washing, coffee is spread to around a 3 cm depth on drying tables, where it will stay for 7 – 10 days (depending on weather conditions). During the hottest part of the day, the drying coffee is covered with coffee shade nets and during the night coffee is covered with nylex sheet to prevent it from experiencing extreme temperature changes, over-drying and exposure to humidity.
After reaching the optimal humidity, the coffee is rested. All the coffee is usually milled in Mbozi and is sent to the Tanzania Coffee Board auction in Moshi, where it is then cupped, graded and sold at auction to the highest bidder.
This coffee has been graded ‘AB’, a mix of the largest (A) and second largest (B) bean sizes. Grading by size occurs at the dry mill.
Farm: Iyenga Agricultural Marketing Cooperative and Society
Varietal(s): Kent, Bourbon, N39 & other local varieties
Processing: Fully washed & sun dried on African beds
Altitude: 1,670 to 1,950 metres above sea level
Owner: Various smallholder farmers
Town: Iyenga town, Mbozi District
Total size of farm: Less than 5 hectares on average
Coop members: 191 registered members