After arriving into Tanzania for your safari, Kilimanjaro trek or Zanzibar getaway, you will most likely travel through coffee plantations at some point. These rolling green fields boast broad-leafed plants extending as far as the eye can see. But how did Tanzania become such a coffee titan? For this, we have to reach back into the history books.
Humans first consumed coffee around the 15th century in Ethiopia, only several hundred miles north of Tanzania. The plant was used to extend alertness, work longer hours, and for prayer. The plant quickly spread around the world following trade routes. In the 16th century, coffee starts to be grown in northwestern Tanzania with the Haya tribe, who smoked, boiled, and chewed the stuff, but never drank the dark concoction.
Colonization by the Germans and British accelerated coffee growing techniques in Tanzania, and many tribespeople worked coffee plantations, including the Chagga who live around Mount Kilimanjaro. After Tanzania gained its independence in 1961, the country’s leaders saw promise in its coffee export and doubled down on supporting its economy. Public management of the coffee industry led to complications and market volatility, and reforms in the early 1990s privatized the industry. Now, over ninety percent of coffee in Tanzania is grown by smallholder farms.
The higher quality coffee for which Tanzania is known, Arabica, is famous for its bright acidity and fruity, tart notes. Expect a cup of Tanzanian brew to taste much like Ethiopian or Kenyan coffees (as they all share a common origin). The Tanzania peaberry is a known delicacy for coffee aficionados. (Source)
Absolutely. Easy Travel’s headquarters is located in Arusha, ground zero for accessing the country’s finest coffee plantations, on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. We have long-held relationships with coffee farmers, and can facilitate a plantation tour and coffee tasting.
Here are some of our favorite coffee hangouts in Tanzania:
For most travelers to Tanzania, sights are set firmly on seeing lions, hippos, and other safari highlights. Or perhaps it’s the diving and beachcombing from the Spice Islands. But let’s be honest: none of this can happen without that first cup of coffee. So, if you’re traveling halfway across the globe for these experiences, why not make it taste better?
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