Where Style blends with Elegance &
freshly ground Coffee
On the edge of the East African Rift Valley, at the foot of the Mbeya range in Southern Tanzania, lies a region renowned for growing coffee. Warm summers and fresh winters combined with seasonal rains create the perfect conditions for coffee cultivation. And it is here that the famous Rift Valley Coffee has its origins, grown on the Utengule Coffee Estate 1,400 metres above sea level.
The Bourbon varieties, grown under the shade on Utengule Estate are renowned for their smooth flavour, full body and excellent acidity. The soil is very organic and rich in minerals which originate from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. The estate is crossed by clear mountain streams which are used to irrigate the coffee fields after the long dry seasons and to wash coffee during harvest.
Utengule and Songwa farms organize specialised coffee tours in the months May to August. For more details please visit www.songwa-estates.com
About 40% of the farm’s 300 hectares are cultivated, while another 40% is nature reserve with a particularly rich flora and fauna, giving habitat to over 200 bird species. Visitors to the Estate come to learn more about coffee, pick their own cherries or plant a coffee tree, while staying at the Utengule Coffee Lodge, ‘The Lodge on the Estate’.
In April to July, Utengule Coffee Estate fields spring to life when the red, ripe cherries are picked, washed and dried in the sun. After resting for two months, the coffee beans will be roasted, blended and packed for the demanding coffee gourmet.
'In 1919 Missionaries brought the first coffee seeds to Utengule and started coffee cultivation on their land at the foot of the mighty Mbeya peak. They quickly realized that the coffee coming from those first trees were of exceptional quality and expanded the area rapidly. Already in 1925 they founded the “Mährische Plantagengesellschaft AG” and continued to expand coffee growing in the area.'
'The variety planted at that time was the original Bourbon, which came from the Bourbon island (today La Reunion) in the Indian Ocean. Utengule is proud that by today there are still some of those very first coffee trees present on the farm and after 80 years they continue to produce coffee of fine quality.'
'Seedlings are grown in the own nursery and are planted into the field in December when the rainy season has started.
10 days after first rainfall, the coffee bushes bring out the wonderful, bright-white flowers, signalizing the start of the new production cycle. At that stage, all fields are engulfed in a cloud of sweet Jasmin smell
'During the harvest, many people, in the majority women, come from the nearby villages to Utengule for coffee picking. In this time the fields are filled with life and colour, while people enjoy their work. After sorting and pulping of the cherry, the parchment coffee is driend in the sun for about 10 to 12 days. Thereafter it is bagged and stored for roughly 8 weeks on the farm.'
'The quality is regularly checked on its physical appearance and cup taste. For this purpose samples of green coffee that has rested for at least 8 weeks, are taken and checked, checked and roasted in the farm's sample room. It is though merely reconfirming that fresh crop lives up to the renowned Utengule coffee quality.
WHERE WE ARE
Utengule is at 20 km distance from Mbeya town. It can be reached by driving 12 km on the highway towards Zambia and then turn right at Mbalizi town. From that point it is another 8 km on good road to reach Utengule Estate and Lodge. All turning points are marked with signboards.
Or give us a call at:
Mobile: +255 754 948 781
Utengule Coffee Estate Ltd.
PO Box 139, Mbeya