Mozambique Chimanimani - Washed Process

IT'S GONNA BE MAY!!! Yes, I've been waiting all year to say that. Yes, I know it's stupid. No, I'm never going to stop. 

This month is something totally different from a relatively new supplier in a part of the world that isn't best known for it's specialty coffee production - Mozambique. So when one of our amazing suppliers informed us of a show stopper from this up and coming corner of the world we had to give it a try!

Mozambique Chimanimani - Process and Harvest

To fully understand, we need to go back and do a bit of a lesson on the history of coffee production in Mozambique. 

Coffee was first brought to Mozambique by the Portuguese in the fifteenth century, although it remained a relatively small operation, the colonists instead choosing Angola for commercial coffee growing, with Mozambique being reserved primarily for tea.

During its colonial occupation, Mozambique was mostly known for robusta coffee

production, and by the time civil war broke out in 1977 following the declaration of independence in 1975, it produced around 1000 metric tons per year. Since this this amount has declined significantly but that's where our friends at Agrotur in the Chimanimani region come in to play! The Chimanimani mountain range is a degraded region due to gold mining and forestry exploitation. 

Agrotur is carrying out reforestation with coffee and native forest and fruit species. Typically, they plant 3300 coffee plants on each hectare, intercropped with 400 different fruit trees and 300 trees of native forest species. They further plan to begin the production of honey due to its great influence on coffee production and intercropping of crops such as legumes, vegetables, tubers and cereals.

The Agrotur project, founded in 2020, is an agroforestry project that is now the largest coffee plantation in the country. 100 organic Arabica coffee seedlings of five different varietals, introduced from Brazil and Zimbabwe, were initially planted in an experimental field in Chimanimani’s buffer zone, yielding 550kg of coffee in the project’s first year. Since then, a further 1.2 million coffee seedlings have been distributed to producers in the region, planted across 400 hectares. It is hoped that within 10 years at least 3000 farmers will be producing arabica coffee on 3,500 hectares of land.

The cherries are currently harvested by hand and sun dried before being exported, but plans to have a full production and roasting facility for domestic consumption are being considered. Chimanimani Coffee are currently the largest company operating in this area, and have ambitious plans to grow their operation over the next decade so keep an eye out for this up and coming hub of coffee producing excellence over the next few years because we feel that they're going to be everywhere soon. 

Chipp Coffee Co. Roastery Update

April has been a busy one at Chipp. We went to the Big Smoke for London Coffee Festival where one of our incredible friends and business partners from Minor Figures, Bryan AKA 'Auntie Climax' competed in the finals of the UK Coffee Masters Competition. Brian has used our incredible Rwenzori coffee for his entire journey throughout the Coffee Masters competition this year so no wonder he's done so well right? 

We have a new person in the roastery too! Chris has been with us for just over a month now and is already settling in nicely to the manic life of a Chipp employee. Chris has brough with him a vast knowledge of all things coffee with him from his second home at Kapow! in Leeds. If you've ever been you'll be aware that they KNOW their coffee so Chris is going to be a solid addition to the team!

Finally, you'll be happy to know that a new fresh crop from our good friends at Shyira Station in Rwanda has landed and is officially live! This is another great example of how forming excellent relationships with producers and importers can benefit everyone from the farmers, to us and finally to you so we're excited to be able to bring you wonderful beans and support an incredible coffee producing part of the world at the same time. 

What We're Listening To

You may not think it when you see a bunch of pasty white men making coffee but we absolutely adore the queen B herself, Beyonce in the roastery. This month we've been graced with a country album with a Beyonce twist that we can't get enough of. By now everyone has heard the instant classic 'TEXAS HOLD 'EM' but don't be fooled in to thinking the whole album is like this oh no!  There's a meticulous collection of various styles done in a way that is quintessentially Beyonce. 'SPAGHETTI' goes real hard out of nowhere especially since a cover of 'JOLENE' by the incomparable Dolly Parton is just two tracks prior. There's a beautiful cover of 'Blackbird' originally made famous by 'The Beatles' which will leave you warm and fuzzy inside too so it has something for everyone and anyone.