Coffee of the Month // June // F45 Training Brew
Origin = Tanzania (Itende JKT)
Process = Washed
Notes = Blackberry // Rasin // Molasses
Roast = Espresso + Filter
Coffee of the Month
This month Perky Blenders has teamed up with the international fitness community of F45 to get people drinking coffee and exercising- we've called the coffee F45 training brew.
F45 Training Brew is a blend of N39, Bourbon and Kent varietals, is produced in the Mbeya region of Tanzania at Itende JKT through the Tanzanian Army’s National Youth Program.
The National Service, or Jeshi la Kujenga Taifa (JKT) in Swahili offers alternatives to young people who have neither the opportunities nor the resources to access higher education. The programme is voluntary, and young people who inscribe are taught life-skills that enhance their ability to gain employment and income in areas such as agriculture, masonry, carpentry and entrepreneurship.
While the programme has multiple ‘camps’ across the country, the Itende one is special in its focus on agriculture - coffee in particular - and it's plantations extend across 80 hectares. Considering the rural environs, it is surprising that Itende is located only 1.5 km from the city center of Mbeya.
A feature that makes it attractive to the young people from all over the country to attend the programme, usually for 3 to 6 months. Those who show initiative can apply for employment immediately after finishing their training. In addition to training in coffee cultivation, they also learn skills in farming other agricultural crops like maize, beans and sunflower.
A major challenge for the future of production in the country is sustainability. The urbanisation and land pressure, which, combined with climatic shifts, has seen much of the coffee in the traditional high-quality areas around Kilimanjaro, for instance.
Tanzania Through the Years
Coffee was introduced into the Tanzanian region from modern day Ethiopia in the 16th century. Coffee was not really brewed in the region but was used as a stimulant. There a records of the Haya Tribe located in northwest Tanzania in modern-day Kagera Region being the only tribe that used the beans.
After WWI, Tanzania (then Tanganyika), became a British Colony. Arabica was introduced into the western areas of Tanzania, but production remained limited. When Tanzania was granted independence in 1961, one of the key economic strategies of the new government was to increase production. Many larger coffee farms were nationalised and came to be state run by state cooperatives.
This system was wildly inefficient and coffee production in the country suffered drastically due to major governmental interventions and high cost of growing.
Recovery has been slow, and Tanzania is still widely regarded as having not fully reached its true potential as a producer of high quality coffee. That being said, Today, an estimated 450,000 smallholders are reliant on coffee (known locally as kahawa) for their livelihoods. This, in turn, supports around 4.5 million family members and labourers
A major challenge for the future of production in the country is sustainability. The urbanisation and land pressure, which, combined with climatic shifts, has seen much of the coffee in the traditional high-quality areas around Kilimanjaro becoming short in supply.
Pssssst, Insider Tip...
Try experimenting at home and use this bean for cold brew perfect for those hot summer days
The Tanzania Market of Coffee
There are three ways a farmer can sell his product. The Internal market where the produce is sold at a price decided by the farmer directly to private coffee buyers, village groups or coffee cooperatives. This practice is the most common between small farmers due to the low yields per farmer.
Once the private coffee buyers and cooperatives have received a significant amount of produce they can either sell their goods at the Moshi Coffee Auction or export the product directly.
Most top grade coffee growers are allowed to bypass the auction and are able to sell their coffee directly to the foreign roasters. This policy was created by the Coffee Board of Tanzania to allow farmers and local companies to build a long term relationship with international buyers.