Location: Misuku Foothills
Altitude: 1950-2300 meters above sea level
Arabica varietals: Catimor 129 and several local varieties Geisha Nyika
Growers/Producers: The Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union
In the cup: Crisp, complex and sweet. Full flavoured, balanced with a long finish. Currant, citrus, plum, apricot, blackcurrent
Chisi washing station is located in Misuku Foothills which forms part of the Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union. The Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union is located in the mountains of Malawi, overlooking Lake Malawi. It is a democratic and empowered union of 3000 member farmers who have been growing coffee since 1930s.
Nearly 25% of the members are women and thanks to Fairtrade and their commitment to producing high quality coffees, they have been able to provide good living conditions, food security and access to good quality education to every smallholder coffee farming family who forms part of the Cooperative.
They have been certified by FTO in 20019, 4C in 2011 and are currently working to obtain an Organic Certification.
Through the past years they have been able to build their own washing stations, cupping laboratories and they count with trained cuppers in all zones and central cupping laboratory. They also have a central mill, hulling and storage facilities.
Coffee was first introduced to Malawi by missionaries during the 1880s. During this time, commercial growing areas were mainly concentrated in Thyolo and Mulanje.
The coffee industry is now divided into Estates and Small holders. Most of the Estates don’t take coffee as their major crop, cultivating tea, macadamia and Tabacco as their major crops. Currently there are around 3000 small holder coffee farmers in Malawi. They are organized into 6 Cooperatives in different regions of Malawi: Misuku, Phoka, Viphya, North, Nkhatabay Highlands, South East Mzimba and Ntchisi East. This sector produces between 350 to 450 mt of coffee annually.
Under the small holder’s sector, more cooperatives can be promoted in order to cover new districts in Malawi. It is estimated that around 10000 to 20000 ha can be developed. Currently the country only produces 1500 mt of coffee per year but this can be increased to 20000 mt if further investments are made into the coffee growing industry.
(Info courtesy of MTC Group)