Karatu coffee estate is located in the ring of Ngorongoro crater in Karatu area, about 150 kms North of Arusha city. The estate was established in the mid 1900's by German settlers after the second world war. Karatu Estate, which sits at 1700-1800 masl, is covered with dark volcanic soil and experiences moderate bimodal rainfall of about 700 - 800 mm p.a. with temperatures ranging between 19 - 27 degrees Celsius. The long rains fall between March-May while the short rains come between October and December.The area experiences a long mono-annual production cycle with harvesting from August - January. The main variety is the traditional N39 accounting for over 99% of all the coffee grown. Karatu coffee estate applies both dry and wet processing methods. This coffee is of the Bourbon varietal and is fully washed.
History of Coffee in Tanzania
Taking the average number of bags exported annually 2007-2017—to account for crop fluctuations—Tanzania experienced an increase of 11 percent over the previous 10 years. That might not seem like much until you consider that only two other African countries have experienced growth by the same measure, Ethiopia (37%) and Uganda (1%). Tanzania broke the million bags exported ceiling for the first time in 2009 and did it again in 2013. This increase in exports has coincided with a near 600 percent increase in domestic coffee consumption over twenty years. The only coffee growing country to experience a more dramatic increase is Vietnam, where domestic coffee consumption has grown by 700 percent over the same period.
Growing Coffee in Tanzania
In specialty coffee, Tanzania has been long known for its peaberry, often the only Tanzanian coffee on offer from most roasters, but that is changing. Olam has brought its integrated supply chain approach to the region, an approach that not only helps ensure quality, but provides an opportunity to increase sustainable practices. Such is the case with Olam’s Aviv Coffee Plantation in southern Tanzania.