Best Zambian Coffees in 2023
Zambian coffee is most popular for being smooth and softer with low acidity than other African coffees. The coffees are exceptional in quality and have some similarity with the Kenyan and Tanzanian coffee. Because of it light acidity and flavors it is a favorite for blending with other coffees.
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Coffee in Zambia
Zambia is a country that is situated to the south eastern part of Africa and is bordered by 8 countries of which some are coffee growers like Malawi, Congo, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Coffee was introduced in the nation during the 1980s through via Kenya and Tanzania counties. Note that Kenya is one of the best and popular coffees in Africa and the whole world. The coffees from this country, Zambia are usually mild flavored with mild acidity and full body.
The country has a savanna woodland climate with very dry areas. Coffee from Zambia is almost like the good Kenya powerhouse coffee though with some delicate Tanzanian coffee notes. Zambian coffee is very rare to find.
Coffee varieties grown in Zambia
Zambia specializes in growing the Africa organic and traditional Arabica which though does not give high yields like the Robusta variety. It is high quality and attracts very good prices. Unlike Robusta which can grow under any conditions, Arabica is quite demanding where it should be grown in high altitudes with ample sunshine and rainfall for it to give good yields. The crop is grown in the country highlands along the slopes of Muchinga and Munali mountains. The soils are rich and deep with enough humus to support the crops. This coffee variety is very similar to the Tanzanian Arabica and Kenyan coffee especially because it originated from these countries
Coffee growing region
Coffee is usually grown around the country’s northern district. The mountains of Muchinga are just near the region which is also near Lusaka city. Coffee was introduced in the country with coffee seeds from Kenya and Tanzania. Some sample of coffee from Zambia has been found to appear in the specialty market from northern America.
Though the country’s coffees are not very popular as a specialty coffee in the market, the country produces very good coffees. Some coffee grade from Zambia referred as AAA, falcon Zambica is very good and high end. The coffees are characterized with bright acidity, full body, soft, light acidity which is very pleasant.
Munali coffee is grown at the slopes of the popular Zambian Munali hills. The coffee from this region is processed through manual washing and then dried under the sun giving them the good quality. The process of harvesting the coffee cherries is done manually and selectively meaning only the ripe and good coffees are picked. The process is well guided up the final step of selling the coffee to ensure the quality is not compromised. The coffee has the very best quality among the African Arabica coffee and is characterized by bold heavy body with light acidity which has citrus notes.
Flavor profile of Zambian coffee
The coffees have very dense bodies, acidity with citrus hints, bright and elegant flavors. The coffees are similar to the coffees grown in their Africa counterparts such as Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi. A coffee cup from the beans from this region are well and harmoniously balanced in flavor and is suitable for high quality coffee blends.
Conditions for growth for the Zambian coffee
The coffee is usually grown are elevations of up to 1100 meters above the mean sea level. The coffee in the warm African climate characterized by the sunshine and by the rich deep soils with enough moisture for the growth of coffees. The coffee is grown in the terraced mountainous region along the Muchinga Mountains which give the right conditions for coffee growing.
The coffee producers in the country put a lot of effort in seeing to achievement of great quality coffee. The coffee is very rare but when you get hold of it you get a great experience that is hard to forget.
Processing of Zambian coffees
The coffees are hand washed and dried out on the sunshine. The coffee variety grown here is coffee Arabica. The coffees are usually harvested via handpicking one cherry by one which makes them very high quality because only the ripe and defect less beans are picked. The beans are washed extensively using hands to remove the coffee pulp covering the coffee beans. The beans are then sun dried for further processing or being exported just as green coffee beans. The coffee is usually conditioned with much careful ness and hulled. After the end of processing the coffees are then graded for selling.
Roasting Zambian coffee
Zambian coffee can be roasted as either dark, medium and light roasted. Dark roast is good for roasting the Zambian beans owing to the fact that it is mild acid and flavors. The bean is able to stand the high temperatures.
Brewing Zambian coffees
French press is one of the very best methods of coffee brewing through immersion method. This allows the ground coffee beans to soak in the hot water and bring out the best favors. This method usually does not remove the coffee oils in coffee unlike the paper filters. The method highlights all the flavor notes very well especially because the coffee beans from Zambia are mild flavored with mid acidity. The method also best highlights the aroma of the coffee.
To brew Zambian coffee using this method, medium coarsely ground coffee is put on the base of a glass vessel. The next step is adding hot water to the coffee and stir. The coffee is able to maintain it natural body because a paper filter is not used in this method to get rid of the volatile oils found in the coffee. With the coffee press you can also control the time for brewing coffee and the temperature. Remember that coffee brews well with water off boiling so with the coffee press you can set the temperatures about 92- 96 degrees Celsius. The press should be tightly screwed and the coffee well packed
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