Tweega Cooperative, Mbeya
In Swahili,the word ‘Twiga’ means ‘giraffe’ which is a very fitting word for this coffee. The long neck of a giraffe is representative of the never-ending search for the best quality coffee and the black tongue comes from drinking too much of it!
This coffee comes from around 10,000 smallholder’s with each farmer on average producing 1.3kg of cherry from a 2 hectare plot of land with 1250 trees. During the harvest through the months of June to September the coffee is hand-picked and then pulped using a hand eco-pulper which can allow 300kgs of cherry to be passed through a day. After pulping the beans are then passed through washing channels to identify any floaters. They are then left to ferment for 48-72 hours in clean water allowing the build-up of acids like lactic and acetic which drop the pH of the water and are believed to eat away at the mucilage surrounding the beans. This gives rise to the clean and bright cups we associate with East African Coffees.
Once fermentation has finished the beans are then washed again and go through a second washing to remove mucilage and identity floaters. After this, they are then transferred to raised African drying beds where they are turned regularly to ensure even drying, taking between 6-15 days depending on the climate. Once the adequate moisture level is reached the beans are then transferred to the warehouse where the coffee is once again screened with gravity tables and a colour spectrum for quality before removing the parchment ready for export between October and February