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Tanzania – Iyula


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Region: Songwe

Farm: Multiple Small Farholders (230) Iyula Farmers Group

Altitude: 1700 MASL

Varietal: Kent

Process: Washed and dried on raised beds

Notes: Lemonade, Sweet Black Tea

100% Arabica

A spectacular offering from the Iyula Farmers group from Tanzania. These beautifully processed coffee beans are very uniform and roast spectacularly. And what a flavor they bring, super crisp and clean with loads of sweetness and perfect brightness. We are super excited to bring this coffee onboard and for sure will be getting this coffee in future years. We have loved Tanzanian coffees ever since we have roasted coffee and are super happy to have found an offering we can stay with year after year.

In the Iyula villages, coffee was first cultivated in 1938. The seeds were brought by the great grandfather of Mchina, the secretary. He got the seeds from missionaries in the Rungwe district. There are 230 smallholder farmers who each deliver small quantities of cherries to the AMCOS (agricultural and marketing co-operatives society), or to collection centers in nearby villages. The average farm size for producers delivering to the Iyula washing station is half to two hectares. These mid-land dry farms have clay loam soil and are organic by default. For them, recognizing the different soil types in order to use the right fertilizers is one of the main challenges. Organic compost is becoming more common, pruning less common. A farmer can typically have fewer than 1000 trees per hectare, and one tree typically produces a number of cherries equal to less than 100 – 200 grams of green coffee.

Nordic Approach (our importer) has been working with Ibero for several years, a large trading company under the Neuman group umbrella. They bought a pulper in 2009 and started producing washed coffee in 2010. The water comes from the Msimbizi river and is transported via channels. To maintain quality standards, Ibero has invested in eight Penagos pulpers that will go to eight of the largest AMCOS (agricultural and marketing co-operatives society) in the region. This will enable the stations to use less of the already scarce water and create a cleaner, more transparent coffee. Every day of production the local team differentiates the coffee destined for the improved and better quality lots (Grade 1) from the normal preparation for Grade 2 and Grade 3. Flotation systems separate some of the coffees on-site for better performance. These coffees are assigned a quality team to carefully tend to their processing. They generally do lot separation based on 150 bags of parchment, equal to 100 bags of greens, but they also do smaller lot sizes, especially for Grade 1. The coffees are separated according to the days and areas of harvest as well as by preparation. Farmers deliver a mix of locally improved Bourbon hybrids like N39 and Kent 423.

The main season for this part of Southern Tanzania is the end of May to July, with the coffee trees flowering between September and October. Coffee cherries are harvested by family members, then hand-sorted to remove unripe and overripe cherries before they are delivered to the washing station for processing. The cherries are pulped either by hand or with a Penagos pulper. Skin and fruit pulp are removed before the machine grades the parchment in water as 1st or 2nd quality, determined by density. The parchment is fermented in water for 18-36 hours. Coffees are washed in channels and graded in water by density. The lower density (lower quality) will float and are removed, leaving only the denser and therefore higher quality beans, which are separated as higher grade lots. Parchment is then soaked in tanks of clean water for 8-12 hours before it is moved to the drying tables. Parchment is dried on raised beds in the sun for 8 – 14 days. The time depends on the thickness of the layers and temperatures. For the premium grades, they will continuously sort the parchment at the drying tables. Coffees are piled up and covered in shade nets or plastic during the hottest hours of the day and overnight. After drying, the coffees will be packed in jute bags and stored in the local warehouses onsite which significantly improves the quality of the coffee. 

Besides the ability to produce great coffees on a good scale, Nordic Approach works with Ibero because they genuinely care about the farmers. They are prepared to match whatever the coop and farmers are willing to invest in their own farm. Ibero builds schools to support the local communities. The company contributes to the land and pays for the construction, and ensures access to clean water for the students. Ibero employs teachers and local community leaders to take care of the school after it has been completed. We strongly support education, both in general and in coffee, and Nordic Approach invests in educational projects that help increase yield and quality, and those that prepare the coming generations of coffee farmers for climate change and the developments in the market. Nordic Approach supports Ibero’s school projects as part of our buying program.

SKU: AF2239 Category:

Additional information

Weight 12 oz
Dimensions 3.5 × 3 × 7 in

5 Pounds, 12 Ounces, 8 Ounces


Whole Bean, Espresso, Aeropress, Pour Over/ Drip, French Press