Region: Kasama, Northern Province
Farm: Kateshi and Isanya Estates
Altitude: 4,400 - 5,250 feet
Variety: Catimor 129, Java
Rich and smooth with flavors of navel orange, apricot, brown sugar, and roasted almonds.
Zambia lies as far south as any other specialty coffee producing country in the world, which creates a unique set of challenges. Some producers, however, are adopting practices used in countries with similar environmental challenges; these efforts are resulting in higher cup quality.
Decaf Zambia Mafinga Hills was produced on the Kateshi and Isanya Estates, near the town of Kasama on Zambia’s border with Tanzania. The farms have been under the current ownership since 2012, the year Singapore based Olam International purchased the Northern Coffee Corporation and revived these inactive estates. The company manages five estates throughout
Zambia, which total a massive 14,500 acres of land. The management provides worker housing on the estates, funds a school with 800 students, as well as a medical clinic and research center. The estates employ over 3,000 workers during harvest season.
Olam took over these large farms and have completely rehabilitated them. Technology seldom seen outside of Brazil has been implemented, including mechanical irrigation and nutrient delivery systems resulting in healthier, more productive trees. The majority of the estates were replanted with Catimor 129, a cross between Caturra and Hibrido de Timor, which has high
yields and disease resistance. The producers’ commitment to quality at Kateshi and Isanya, and the farms’ unique conditions enabled this coffee to shine. High yielding, disease resistant varieties are often vilified for producing inferior quality but, this coffee serves as a reminder that these coffees can be outstanding.
The coffee was decaffeinated using the Swiss Water Process of caffeine extraction, without the use of solvents. The coffee soaks in a ͞green coffee extract that coaxes the caffeine out of the beans. The extract then passes through activated carbon filters that remove the caffeine before being reintroduced to the beans. This process continues until the beans are 99.9% caffeine free.