Coffee Review: Zambia Mafinga Hills
A very similar cup profile to a Kenyan/Tanz coffee but a bit milder. Very nice prep and screen size on these beans.
The Mafinga Hills in Zambia’s Northern Province are home to the country’s highest peaks, where altitude and ancient volcanic soils help produce the sweet citrus flavor profiles that characterize this AAA/AA graded RFA certified coffee from Olam owned estates. Kateshi Estate, near the region’s capital city of Kasama, grows nearly 800 hectares of coffee above 1300 masl. Near the border with Tanzania, Isanya Estate grows 1600 hectares above 1500. Coffees from both estates are milled at the Kateshi mill and blended to create this unique coffee from the home of smoke that thunders.
Long before Dr. Livingston arrived to name Victoria Falls after the queen, the people who had lived around this wonder of the natural world for generations had already named it more appropriately, “the smoke that thunders.” The falls thunder into the Zambesi River, which flows east toward Mozambique. Before the river crosses the border, take a left and head north up the Luangwa River. You’ll move through land rich in biodiversity, including the world’s largest concentration of hippos. As the river meanders and the altitude rises you will eventually arrive at the source of the Luangwa, 1500 meters up the Mafinga plateau, which is also, as it happens, the source of Olam’s high scoring Zambian top lots.
Medium bodied with some gentle brightness behind it. Clean cup with a classic spicy herbal bakers chocolate undertone balanced with mild lemony floral acidity. Darker roasts mute up a bunch of the acidity and give a real big bodied, smoky, complex and very dark toned cup of coffee.
A very fun one to play around with the roast, a bit more acidity in the cup really differentiated the lighter from darker roasts. A good one to drag out a bit if roasting before 2nd crack. Can go from first crack to 2nd a little quicker than average so make sure to keep an eye on it.