On the edge of the East African Rift Valley, at the foot of the Mbeya range in Southern Tanzania, lies a region renowned for growing coffee. Warm summers and fresh winters combine with rich soils and seasonal rains to create the perfect conditions for cultivation. And it is here that the famous Rift Valley Coffee has its origins, grown on the Utengule Coffee Estate 1,500 metres above sea level.
The Bourbon varieties grown on Utengule Estate are renowned for their smooth flavour, full body and fine acidity – the unique flavour in part due to the soil. Rich in minerals and nutrients brought from deep below ground through volcanic eruptions and hot springs over millions of years, the estate is crossed by clear mountain streams used to irrigate the avenues of bushes after the dry season and wash the coffee beans during harvest time.
About 40% of the farm’s 500 hectares are cultivated, the remainder left as a nature reserve rich in both flora and fauna and the habitat for over 150 species of birds. Visitors to the Estate come to learn more about coffee, pick their own cherries or plant their own coffee tree and stay at Utengule Coffee Lodge, ‘The Lodge on the Coffee Estate’. In June and July, Utengule Coffee Estate springs to life when the red, ripe cherries are picked, washed and dried in the sun – only the very best are selected to create Rift Valley Coffee.
Utengule and Songwa farms organize specialised coffee tours in the months May to August. For more
details please visit www.songwa-estates.com