Malawi Usingini Washed Geisha, Catimor & Nyika AB 2017


Bean name Malawi Usingini Washed Geisha, Catimor & Nyika AB 2017
Country #SSSSS Limited Editions 2017
Region Nkhata Bay District
Other info Varietals: Geisha, Catimor and Nyika


Number 8 of 12, August 2017, in the #SSSSS 2017 - Steve's Super Secret Stash Subscription. A limited availability series of roasted coffee beans.

This month it's: Malawi Usingini Washed Geisha, Catimor & Nyika AB 2017

Nkhata Bay District, Malawi
Washed Geisha, Catimor & Nyika AB
Caramel, hazelnut, physalis, floral

A little late last time so a little early this time, does that mean overall we're back to running on time? : D

As we were a little late with the last #SSSSS coffee I wanted to get this one out to you all a little earlier than expected, I know how much sadness the lateness caused (sorry again) so I hope this earliness causes an impressive amount of happiness!

I've spoken to you all before about coffees that we buy based on their performance on the cupping table and this months coffee is 1 of those, I'll tell you what I know + what I've found out about it but ultimately I bought this tiny lot of coffee because it's delicious and, to be totally honest, I may or may not have had you #SSSSSers in my mind when I was making that decision ; )
Malawi is somewhere that intrigues me. One of the few countries we buy from that I’ve not been to, although it's definitely on my list! I can remember the first time I tasted a coffee from Malawi even today, it was many many years ago and it's complexity stopped me in my tracks.

The Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. Malawi is over 118,000 km2 (45,560 sq mi) with an estimated population of 18 million people. Malawi is is defined by its topography of highlands split by the Great Rift Valley and enormous Lake Malawi. Even though its among the smallest countries in Africa, lake Malawi takes up about a third of Malawi's total land mass.
Usingini farm is located in the Nkhata Bay district of Malawi. 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 present 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. Since then 137.6ha (364,000) of trees have been planted and the farm has a target of increasing that to 240 hectares / 600,000 trees by the 2019/20 season! There's also been investment in beekeeping and horticulture too, love them buzzies I do! It's great to see a coffee farm looking after both the beans and the buzzies : D

The farm is expected to invest in irrigation and machinery for both primary and secondary processing over the next few years, as well as local infrastructure such as roads, housing, electricity, schooling and health facilities. You go Usingini!!
Usingini will eventually employ an estimated 500 staff and is intended to provide a demonstrable model for sustainable coffee farming in developing communities. As I mentioned earlier as well as coffee the farm is due to produce tomatoes, potatoes and cabbages, and has over 200 beehives installed for honey production bzzz bzzz bzzzzz ????????

The farm is also looking to be developed for ecotourism as it lies on a beautiful, undulating landscape overlooking Tanzania on the East and is less than 15km from Lake Malawi.

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
Education for their children


This coffee is wet processed, where the fully ripe cherries are:

Fermented for 12 - 48 hours (depending on climatic conditions)
Dried slowly over 2 - 3 weeks on raised African beds.

The coffee is then delivered to the dry mill where it is rested in parchment before being hulled, cleaned and graded by bean size. Finally, the coffee is carefully handpicked before being bagged in GrainPro for export.

In the cup this is a unique coffee from a unique country. Expect caramel and hazelnut, nothing unusual there, but then a big hit of physalis acidity with a lovely delicate floral edge that carries on.

Country: Malawi
Region: Nkhata Bay district
Mill: Usingini
Producer: Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union Ltd.
Altitude: 1,453 m.a.s.l.
Varietals: Geisha, Catimor and Nyika
Fermentation: Yes
Fermentation time: 12-48 hours
Processing method: Washed
Drying method: Raised African beds
Drying time: 2-3 weeks
Rainfall: 1,300–2,000mm per annum (average)
Soil: Acidic sandy loam and clay

And there you have it! Malawi Usingini Washed Geisha, Catimor and Nyika AB, yummy right? I think so, I hope you think so, I hope you can see why this coffee jumped up at me from the cupping table : )

A quick bit of something special for you all! Remember the coffee from last month? The Noruega yellow honey Bourbon? We've recently started roasting the other 2 lots we got from Noruega, a washed and a natural Bourbon...

Finca Noruega Natural Bourbon
Sultana, dark chocolate, apricot

Finca Noruega Washed Bourbon
Curly Wurly, orange, smashable (!)

Why am I telling you this? Well, you're the only people that got to try the yellow honey and so I thought you might be interested in trying all 3 processes from Noruega this year, perhaps you've even got some left so could taste them all side by side, sounds kinda exciting doesn't it? If this does indeed sound like the kind of thing that someone like you would do then you're in luck my friend, if you order those 2 coffees and enter the discount code "buzzysssss" it'll knock 20% off them ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

And on that note, bzzzzzzzzz! I mean, err...byeeeeeeee!

Stephen Leighton

Cupping notes

Clean cup None/8
Sweetness None/8
Acidity None/8
Mouthfeel None/8
Flavour None/8
Aftertaste None/8
Balance None/8
Overall None/8
Correction +None
Total None

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