Coffee was first introduced in Zambia in the 1950s through the stock of cultivar seeds from Tanzania and Kenya.
But in the 1970s, a search, for the best practices for rain-fed and irrigated fields, was started so that the production of Zambia coffee can be increased by bringing the small farmers into this sector.
The aim of this effort was to establish almost 600 new coffee producing Zambia coffee farms.
In the 1980s, Zambia became a serious producer of coffee when the IOC or International Coffee Organization granted it a quota for exporting 350 tons of coffee. In 1985, Zambia officially became the exporter of Zambia coffee.
Where is coffee grown in Zambia?
In Zambia, coffee beans were mainly grown in the Mountains of Muchinga of the Northern Districts as well as around the city of Lusaka.
In this Northern district, there are three main regions where coffee is grown abundantly in Zambia, Kasama, Isoka, and Nakonde.
The coffee estates of the Kateshi and Isanya, located in the Northern Province of Zambia at 1300 and 1650 masl respectively, have collectively covered an area of land up to 2,438 hectares in the north of Zambia.
Out of this area, coffee is planted on 1,277 hectares. The rest of the 1,161 hectares of land is used as buffer zones and conservation areas. Both of these estates have been certified by 4C, Rainforest Alliance, and Utz.
Coffee is grown in Zambia in its northern province because of its nearness to the equator it offers the best conditions for growing coffee beans.
The highest point in this country is Mafinga Hills, situated between Malawi and Zambia, where 2,300m coffee is grown every year.
Recommended Article: Seriously Good Guatemalan Coffee Beans
The Different Types of Coffee Grown in Zambia
Robusta and Arabica are two main types of coffee produced in Zambia.
But the African traditional and organic coffee, Arabica, is the specialty of Zambia coffee though the yield of this coffee is not as high as that of Robusta coffee still it is one of the most popular coffee types of Zambia.
The price of Arabica is high due to its high quality. The main reason for its low yield and high quality of Arabica is that it cannot be grown in any condition like Robusta.
Arabica coffee has to be grown on high altitudes where it can give good yield by getting enough rainfall and sunshine. In this country, Arabica is grown on the slopes of the mountains Munali and Muchinga.
The crops are supported here due to the deep soil and richness of a lot of humus. The variety of Zambian Arabica coffee is almost similar to the coffee of Kenya and Arabica of Tanzania because it has been originally grown in those countries.
The quality of the Arabica coffee grown in the slopes of the Munali Hills of Zambia is the best because it is processed manually by washing and drying under direct sunlight.
The harvesting of the beans of this coffee is done manually so that only good and ripe coffee beans are picked.
To ensure that the quality of Arabica coffee is not compromised the entire process is guided well up to the final stage of selling it.
Due to the bold structure and low acidity Arabica coffee of Zambia is considered the best Arabica coffee of Africa because it has citrus notes.
Recommended Article: Lifeboost Coffee Review
Zambia Coffee Sometimes Lacks Flavor
Zambia coffee profile is normally an elegant and bright flavor due to its extremely dense body and citrus hints causing acidity.
The coffee produced in this country is similar to the coffee produced in other African countries like Tanzania, Malawi, and Kenya.
A cup of coffee made from the beans produced in Zambia has a cordially balanced flavor which you can get from the coffee of high-end brands.
But sometimes Zambian coffee loses its flavor due to delays in its shipping. Coffee usually loses lots of its flavor when it is stored at the port for long periods before it is shipped.
A good amount of coffee from East Africa is supplied to European countries. To retain the flavor of coffee it is necessary to manage the time of shipping it.
The loss of quality and flavor of the coffee can be minimized only by handling it properly and shipping it as soon as possible.
Recommended article: The History of Coffee, The Ultimate Guide
The coffee produced in Zambia is known for its high quality and low acidity. It is also known for its processing process. Zambian coffees are harvested by hand so that only good and ripe beans are picked.
They are washed by hand and dried in direct sunlight.
The Arabica coffee grown in Zambia is known for its high quality because its cherries are picked one-by-one so that any defective bean is not picked.
To remove the cover on the coffee pulp, the beans of Arabica coffee are washed by hand. Then they are dried in the sun to export them as beans of green coffee or for processing them further.
Normally coffee is hulled and conditioned carefully to retain its quality and flavor. After the completion of the process of processing coffee, it is then graded before selling it.
Before selling Zambia coffee beans are also roasted to grade them as light, medium, and dark coffee. Normally Dark roasted Zambian coffee is considered the best because of its flavors and mild acidity level.
The beans of Zambian coffee can withstand high temperatures.
Moreover, a French press is considered the best method for brewing the coffee beans from Zambia as it can help in retaining their mild flavors and mild acidity.
To use this method to brew Zambian coffee you should use medium coarsely ground coffee beans to get the best results. You should put the ground coffee beans at the base of the glass vessel and then pour hot water on them and stir it.
Because a paper filter is not used in this process to remove volatile oils in the coffee, the coffee you brewed will be able to maintain its natural structure as you can control the temperature and time while brewing it through French Press.
You should pack the press properly with coffee and screw it tightly before starting to brew coffee.
Thus, Zambia coffee beans are from its northern province is known for its high quality and mild flavor is processed and brewed properly.