To get to the Mondul Estate of Tanzania you must drive through the Masai Homelands. This is where the indigenous people of East Africa live. While they farm and raise cattle, they also grow some of the world’s greatest coffees. The best coffee estates complement the old traditions with a respect for the land, wildlife and its natural fauna.
I first visited Mondul Estate of Tanzania in 2010, and soon after had the privilege of meeting the co-op director, Edwin Agasso. Edwin has devoted his life to discerning specialty coffee, and this I have witnessed first-hand as we’ve cupped many coffees together in his lab. Edwin is one of the vital reasons Mondul Estate continues to improve each and every season. Edwin helps ensure Modul Estate continues to upgrade every step of the process from seed to cup. This was clear to me on my visits — from the seeds they plant, working conditions for the workers, standards of coffee control, and overall milling operations.
When I visited the Mondul Estate of Tanzania in 2010 it was being rehabilitated by the Burka Estates owners. I was so impressed by this renovation that Cravens became the first roaster to purchase their peaberry. Normally the fruit ("cherry") of the coffee plant contains two seeds ("beans") that develop with flattened facing sides, but sometimes only one of the two seeds is fertilized, and the single seed develops with nothing to flatten it. This oval (or pea-shaped) bean is known as peaberry. Typically around 5% of all coffee beans harvested have experienced this unique quality and are often considered a delicacy. Twelve plus years later, Cravens Coffee is still buying this special coffee.
Tanzania is one of my favorite origins, with some of the best and biggest parks in Africa, and some of the most varied and unique landscapes. Each year, Tanzania sees millions of animals make their way across the land in search of water and fresh pasture. And the coffee is spectacular, too! I love Tanzania coffee for it’s tangy, sweet and wine-like flavor profile.