Tanzania Tarime Natural
1Kg Raw Beans
Acidity of pink guavas and kalamansi, with sweetness of dried apples and red wine. Coupled with hints of vanilla and cocoa nibs.
Origin: North Mara Region, Tarime District
Altitude: 1400 - 1600 masl
Varietal: Kent, Bourbon
Harvest: August - September
Wamacu is short for Wakulima wa Mara Cooperative Union, a merger of the names of the neighbouring districts of Wakulima and Mara. The Union is relatively new and was only formed in 2008 as a partnership between 9 different coffee cooperatives. Already, they have made a huge difference in the region to both coffee prices and producer support. While the area is widely known for its wildlife and as being home to the North Mara Gold mine (one of the largest in Tanzania), it is still very underdeveloped and has some of the lowest literacy rates in the country.
Previously, producers in the region have been forced to sell their coffee at sub-market rates, in part because of isolation and in part because of the previously fractionalised structure of the coffee sector. The small, individual cooperatives simply didn't have enough bargaining power to obtain enough credit to pay farmers fairly and didn't have access to the market. Since Wamacu formed, the group has collectively been able to organise and fully pay back substantial loans to various credi agencies (enabling pre-harvest financing and other producer benefits), they have placed coffee on specialty markets for higher premiums, and they have subsequently ensured much higher prices for producers locally. The cooperative already has 830 members and is growing annually.
This unusual natural lot hails from producers living near the town of Tarime, within Tanzania's Mara Region - to the very North East of the country, nearly in Kenya. Tarime and its surroundings are not as well known as the famous coffee growing region around Kilimanjaro and Arusha, nor does it have the reputation of the South (Mbeya and Mbinga). Furthermore, the region lies between the Maasai Mara National Reserve and Lake Victoria ahd has the disadvantage of being over 1200km from the coffee ort of Dar Es Salaam. High transport costs and travel woes pose potential issues for lots such as this one.
Do note that the coffee will be dispatched in whole beans only, unless stated otherwise.