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Umoja, Tanzania

$16.00

Tasting Notes: Prune, Stewed Fruits and Hawthorn Sweets

Region

Songwe

Producer

Communal Shamba & Mkulima Kwanza

Altitude

1700 MASL

Variety

Bourbon, Kent

Processing

Washed

The story of Communal Shamba Coffee is one we love to share whenever we have the opportunity. It's Melbourne 2016, and Tanzanian couple Keremba Warioba and Dr Mkunde Chahage wandered - by destiny, some would say - into a specialty coffee cupping event hosted by our partners at Five Senses Coffee. They both had families working in coffee back home but didn't know much about it themselves. Despite that, they both shared a sincere, intrinsic passion for agriculture and social impact. It was an idea that resonated so true and significant that, as a matter of fact, alongside our Australian partners, we committed to purchasing the entirety of their first-ever production of coffee before it even started. With that, Communal Shamba (Swahili for 'farm') was born.

Keremba, passionate for agricultural development and Mkunde, an expert in medical research, returned to Tanzania after living in Australia for over 10 years. With a new-found purpose to serve their farming communities back home, they set out to offer sustainable transformation and positive impact in the neighbouring rural regions of Mbeya and Songwe. Communal Shamba positions as a social enterprise that facilitates the trade of coffee between smallholder farmers in southern Tanzania to the world of specialty coffee roasters. Working closely with a tight-knit community of farmers to harvest and process specialty green beans, guiding them into an international market.

Keremba and Mkunde enrolled themselves as farmers into the local cooperative, 'Mkulima Kwanza' (Swahili for 'Farmers First'), to underline their intention as a community contributor, collaborate, develop, and thrive collectively. In the first year (2018), they only had enough drying tables and natural processing knowledge in a country with an established history for washed processing. However, with just over one ton of green coffee in their total 2018 production, Communal Shamba proved to their farmers the immense value and returns on their trust in modern methods and approaches towards coffee.

Communal Shamba works closely with specific rural communities and villages to offer change beyond coffee. For example, villages like the Ihowa village identified education and health as essential areas needing intervention and improvement. As a result, local maternal health facilities and primary schools are undergoing improvements with the help of Mkulima Kwanza, committed international roaster partners, and the Ihowa community.

By this latest harvest, Communal Shamba has grown and expanded exponentially, with more farmers all over the region coming to them to supply their cherries and support towards being part of their initiatives and movement. We've sourced only natural process coffees from Communal Shamba to this point. This is the first time we're roasting the washed process version of their collective coffee, Umoja (Swahili for 'Unity'), from their very own and recently built washing station. Aside from the coffee absolutely blowing us away, we will continue supporting Communal Shamba towards achieving its goals of increasing farmers' prices, providing economic security, excelling in coffee quality, and improving the livelihoods of local communities.