Malawi Usingini Natural 2017


Bean name Malawi Usingini Natural 2017
Country Malawi
Region Nkhata Bay District
Other info Varietals: Geisha, Catimor and Nyika


Usingini farm is located in Nkhata Bay district. It's about 50 KM northeast of Mzuzu on the slopes overlooking Lake Malawi, one of Africa’s ‘Great Lakes’ constituting the Great Rift Valley, which runs through the east of the continent.

Malawi is one of the world’s least developed countries. In many places the roads are poor, making the area very difficult to reach in the rainy season. Electricity is scarce and access to drinking water and medical facilities still presents a challenge to the local population.

Usingini farm is a sustainable development project that began in 2011 on land owned by the Mzuzu Co-operative Union. The farm has 364,000 trees planted on 70 hectares of land, and the farmers have a target of over 600,000 trees planted by the 2019/20 season. The farm will eventually employ an estimated 500 staff and is intended to provide a demonstrable model for sustainable coffee farming in developing communities. As well as coffee, the farm is due to produce tomatoes, potatoes and cabbages, and has over 200 bee hives installed for honey production. A major aim of the project is to reinvest into local infrastructure such as roads, irrigation, housing, electricity, schooling and health facilities.

The Mzuzu Co-operative Union’s aim is that all small-holder farmers are guaranteed:

accommodation that is iron-roofed, cement-floored, plastered and well-ventilated;
food security (three decent meals a day);
adequate clothing and bedding for their families; and
education for their children.

This coffee uses a natural process whereby ripe coffee cherries are carefully picked from the trees and further sorted by hand to ensure only the ripest red cherries are used. These cherries are then dried slowly on raised African beds for 35 to 40 days (depending on climate conditions) and are turned frequently to ensure an even drying. Once the cherries have reached the desired moisture content, they are sent to the dry mill for hulling and thorough handpicking before being bagged in GrainPro for export.

In the cup you might just think someone's slipped some orange juice in while you weren't looking; it's the first thing that really pops out to me! This is followed up by dried orange segments that have been coated with white sugar, before the whole cup bows out gracefully with a red grape finish.

Country: Malawi
Region: Nkhata Bay district
Mill: Usingini farm
Producer: Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union Ltd.
Altitude: 1,453 m.a.s.l.
Varietals: Geisha, Catimor and Nyika
Processing method: Natural
Drying method: Raised African beds
Drying time: 35–40 days
Rainfall: 1,300–2,000mm per annum (average)
Soil: Acidic sandy loam and clay

Roasting Information
Medium – just up to the edge of second crack, but not into it.

"Quick Look" Guide
Orange juice, white sugar, dried orange, red grape.

Note: Cupping Scores for Clean cup, Acidity, Flavour & Overall are actually 6.5 each, not as above (software limitation, allows whole numbers only)

Cupping notes

Clean cup 6/8
Sweetness 7/8
Acidity 7/8
Mouthfeel 7/8
Flavour 6/8
Aftertaste 6/8
Balance 6/8
Overall 7/8
Correction +36
Total 88

« Back to Coffee Archive