- June - October
Tanzania AA Usawa Kahawa Project 2024
Tanzania Hezya Usawa Kahawa
In Swahili, usawa means balance and kahawa means coffee. The Usawa Kahawa Project is all about gender equality, and was established in 2021 by Taylor Winch, Genuine Origin’s sister company in Tanzania. The project’s goal is to make sure women are involved in farming coffee and bringing it to market. Its two main pillars are 1) empowering gender champions and gender action learning systems and 2) growing coffee production in Tanzania through training women and establishing new farms.
The project works with the Hezya Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Society (AMCOS) in the Mbozi region of Tanzania. AMCOS manage 95% of the country’s coffee production, and smallholders must be registered to an AMCOS to qualify for support in production, processing, storage, transport, marketing, and government aid. Without membership, their raw green coffee would have no way of reaching the global market.
The Hezya AMCOS that produced this lot is made up of nearly 300 smallholders with <1 hectare farms at altitudes ranging from 1590 to 1670masl. Their annual production volume is 64 metric tons, and they mainly focus on growing Bourbon, N39, Kent, and other local varieties.
In addition to agricultural training, the producers who are part of the Usawa Kahawa Project are also trained on the importance of gender equity within the family for coffee production and distribution of finances. Much of the training is led by gender champions who live within the AMCOS communities. Within the Hezya AMCOS, gender champions initiated the Shamba Darasa Model Farm to showcase better agricultural practices and lead by example.
Washed Coffee Processing at CPUs
Many AMCOS have Coffee Production Units (CPUs) that process cherries for member farmers. Freshly picked cherries are delivered on the same day to a CPU, where they’re sorted and pulped. The beans are fermented in tanks for up to 72 hours before they’re pushed through washing channels with wooden shunts. During this stage, denser, higher quality beans sink, while beans of lower grades float. The different grades are separated then sun-dried on raised beds for around 10 days.
How is Tanzania green coffee graded?
Around 90% of the Arabica coffee from Tanzania is wash processed at either an AMCOS CPU or at home with a hand pulper. Tanzania employs its own grading system, which shares similarities with the one used in Kenya, that factors in species, bean size, density, processing method, and cup characteristics. The scale ranges from AA (screen sizes 17 & 18, AB (15 & 16), C (14 & 15), and PB for peaberry – a highly coveted classification for Tanzania green coffee beans.
Tanzanian Green Coffee Bean Production
Tanzania has all of the potential in the world. It is one of the largest countries in Africa by area, and its annual Arabica production rivals its better-known neighbor, Kenya. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicts that Tanzania’s green coffee production will grow at one of the world’s fastest rates, but supply chain complexity could slow things down. Learn more in our Tanzanian Green Coffee Origin Report.
Region Mbozi, Songwe
Various smallholders, Heyza AMCOS
Kent, Bourbon, N39, Local Varieties
June - October