Iyenga is an AMCOS (Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Society) in southern Tanzania with 193 registered members and just over 500 farmers contributing cherries. The majority of their farms are between one and two hectares, with none larger than five. Iyenga’s management board is elected by its members, and has demonstrated agile, diligent management through its collection services, water management, and cup quality. In 2019, two of Iyenga’s coffees were winners in Tanzania’s Taste of Harvest Competition.
This is our second year purchasing from Iyenga, and our third featuring Tanzanian coffee sourced through our importing partners, Crop to Cup. Two years ago, when we learned that some of our other coffees would arrive slightly behind schedule, we saw an opportunity to fill a gap in our menu with a Tanzanian offering from a medium-sized, woman-owned estate in the northern part of the country. That coffee served us well, and it also introduced us to Crop to Cup’s longer-term ambitions in that country, and how they could potentially align even better with our values. This is what led us to Iyenga, a small-scale cooperative in a part of Tanzania with a more emergent coffee sector, which we now believe will be a sustained relationship for years to come. The year before last, Iyenga received new drying beds, simultaneously improving quality and increasing yields. Last year, they purchased a super efficient cherry pulper, which has allowed their total processing volume to catch up to the additional space created by the drying beds. Altogether, this group is an excellent example of the impact that strong leadership and prudent premium reinvestment can have in a relatively short amount of time.
In the cup, Iyenga is both bright and balanced, with an elegance that nicely suits it to both our single-origin menu and our blend. In the cup, we taste bergamot, blackberry, and lavender.