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First introduction

Coffee was firstly introduced in Kilimanjaro by Catholic missionaries in the year 1898.

Botanical Variety grown

Bourbon and Kent

Economic importance

Directly coffee is grown by about 450,000 families. This constitutes 90% of the total coffee producers. The remaining 10% comes from the estates. Indirectly coffee make a living for 6% (2.4 million) of the country population which is currently estimates to be 40 million.

Growing regions

Tanzanian Arabica coffees are grown on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru in the Northern areas, under the shade of banana trees, truly an exotic location for this east African coffee, also in Southern Highlands of Songwe, Mbeya and Ruvuma regions where coffee is both intercropped with bananas and some areas are pure stand. Arabica coffee makes up to 70% of total country production.
Robusta coffee is grown in the western areas along Lake Victoria in Kagera region. This constitutes 30% of the total coffee production in Tanzania.

Area under coffee

It is estimated that total area under coffee is 265,000 hectares for both Arabica and robusta.


Robusta – 800 to 900 masl
Arabica -  1,000 to 2,500 masl


Average production is for the past five years (2004/05 – 2008/09) is 51,777 tons of clean coffee.

 Harvesting period (main crop)

North:        July – December
Southern:   July –December
Western:     May – October

Primary processing

98% of arabicas are wet processed.

Dry processing

Tanzania opted for British nomenclature of grading which is done according to shape, size and density. These grades includes; AA, A, B, PB, C, E, F, AF, TT, UG and TEX

Coffee sales

There are three coffee markets-

  1. Internal market – where farmers sale at farm gate price to private coffee buyers, farmer groups and cooperative. Coffee is sold in form of cherry or parchment.
  2. Auction – Coffee auctions are conducted every week on Thursdays during the season (usually 9 months). Licenced exporters come to the auction and buy coffee from suppliers who can be individual farmer, groups, and cooperative or from private buyers.
  3. Direct export. Growers of premium top grade coffees are allowed to bypass the auction and sale their coffee directly. Direct export enables growers to establish long term relationship with roasters and international traders

Cup profile

Northern coffees tend to be pleasant in aroma, rich in acidity and body, sweet taste with balanced flavours due to mineral nutrients from volcanic soils.

Southern coffees are characteristically medium body and fine acidity with good fruity and floral aromatic taste.

Local consumption

Internal usage is increasing from 2% of total production in 2003 to 7% this year.


Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) – Industry regulator on all matters pertaining to production and marketing
Tanzania Coffee Development Trust Fund, (TCDF) - managing stakeholders, resources for coffee development activities
Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TACRI) – Coffee Research institute
Tanzania Coffee Association (TCA) – Private Association of Coffee Traders
Tanganyika Coffee Growers Association (TCGA) – Association of Coffee Estate growers


Tanzania Coffee Board,
P. O. Box 732 Moshi: TEL: +255 27 2752324: Fax 27252026
Email: info@coffeeboard.or.tz: Website: http://coffeeboard.or.tz