Farm: Mimba Estate
Owners: Joseph Meila
Region: Mbozi, Mbeya
Altitude: 1440 - 1770 m.a.s.l
Varietal: Bourbon (some Kent)
Buttery mouthfeel, blackcurrant, subtle licorice and blackberry.
Mimba Estate, located in the green hills of Mbozi, Mbeya in Southwest Tanzania, was established in 1995 by Joseph Meila, a Swiss immigrant who arrived in Tanzania almost a decade earlier. Joseph initially planted about 100 hectares of Bourbon on the land and has, over the past three decades, expanded production to cover the full 160 hectares of the farm. His experience has been fundamental to the success of the farm, and he consistently produces coffee of the highest quality.
Although Joseph and his team at Mimba use the most stringent cultivation and processing methods, the farm was actually never intended as a profit-making venture. Rather, Joseph founded Mimba with the raison d'être of creating local jobs and contributing to Mbeya’s economy. During the harvest season, the Estate provides employment to more than 150 people who live in the surrounding region. Food grown on the Estate is provided to the workers free of charge, and the community is further supported through various year-round work opportunities. Furthermore, the Estate provides training and resources to coffee farmers living nearby; farmers frequently come to learn best agronomic and processing practices; and all training is provided at zero costs to participants.
All coffee on the farm is selectively hand picked and sorted to remove any damaged or underripe cherries before pulping. Picking on the farm is incredibly stringent, and the harvest season at Mimba lasts nearly two months, with 3 to 4 passes being done for each tree. After hand-sorting the coffee is delivered to flotation tanks, where any underweight or damaged cherries are again removed. After this, the coffee passes through a Penagos pulper which extracts some of the mucilage from the berries, which are then transported by water to a wet fermentation tank where they sit for roughly 12 hours (depending on weather conditions) - or until the mucilage is removed. Coffee is then washed using cold, clean water through channels where it is sorted into P1 and P2 weight categories. Once washed the coffee is taken in buckets from the density-sorting channel to the drying tables where the parchment is then air dried for at least 7 days. The coffee is turned regularly and covered with netting during the heat of the day.