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During colonial times, Zambia was named Rhodesia in honor of the great landowner, British colonizer Cecil Rhodes. The country is located in the southern part of landlocked Africa. The country's current name comes from the name of the country's largest river, the Zambezi. Coffee was first brought to Zambia by Catholic missionaries in the 1950s in an effort to diversify the export earnings of this African country, which until then had based its economy almost entirely on copper mining. Huge plantations were created for African conditions; where everything was orderly and oriented to maximize crop productivity. The first coffee plants came from Tanzania and Kenya and were varieties of Arabica Bourbon coffee. They planted coffee in full sun in basically all parts of the country. The campaign was unsuccessful and despite having access to the best British practices in coffee cultivation, Zambia did not appear on the world coffee map. It wasn't until the late 1970s when, with the help of World Bank funding, nearly 600 coffee plantations were established for small farmers that the idea of growing coffee in Zambia gained new energy and in 1985 Zambia exported its first coffee to European markets. You could say that coffee in Zambia is only 35 years old.
Where is coffee grown in Zambia?
Coffee in Zambia is mainly grown in the Muchinga Mountains, Northern Province and around the capital city of Lusaka.
The Northern Province is the area closest to the equator and therefore offers the best climatic conditions for cultivation. In the Northern Province, coffee is grown in three main areas Kasama, Isoka and Nakonde. Zambia's Northern Province borders Tanzania to the east and Congo to the north. Its area ends with Lake Tanganyika, which is the longest freshwater lake in the world (670 km long) and the deepest African lake.
Coffee harvesting in Zambia takes place from May to August. The harvested coffee is processed using the wet (washed) method at processing points located on the plantations. In Zambia, coffee is also processed using the dry method (pulped naturall), although this is less common. After processing and bagging, green coffee from the Northern Province is shipped to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam, while coffee from southern Zambia is shipped via South Africa or Namibia. Coffee in Zambia is grown at altitudes between 1,300 and 2,300 meters above sea level. (Mafinga Hills).
What does coffee from Zambia taste like?
Although a landlocked country, Zambia has the potential to compete with the best coffees of East Africa; Kenya and Tanzania, thanks to its favorable climate and distinctive conditions. Coffees from Zambia are dominated by citrus notes with accents of berries and melon.
What kind of coffee is grown in Zambia?
Mainly Arabica coffee of varieties such as Catimor 129, Castillo, Java, Bourbon.