New Coffee: Songea Peaberry (Tanzania)

We've already introduced you to two of our newest additions to the Quills Coffee lineup: the top-shelf El Eden from Mexico and this year's rendition of the ever-popular washed Yirgacheffe - the Konga from Ethiopia. This week we'll turn our attention toward another African coffee-producing country: Tanzania.

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Tanzanian coffee has been popular on the American palette for quite some time, particularly in its peaberry form. The peaberry is actually a genetic mutation in which the coffee cherry only houses one round seed (bean) instead of the usual two long, flat ones. This mutation is especially prevalent in Tanzania but is not uncommon in other growing regions around the world. Tanzania, in particular, is known for meticulously sorting peaberries from the other beans in order to sell them as distinct lots at higher prices. Whether or not the peaberry itself creates a cup of much higher quality is a subject of considerable debate, but it's rather widely accepted that what is produced is a brighter cup with more acidity.

As a growing region, Tanzania may not have quite the exalted reputation and long history of African counterparts Ethiopia and Kenya, but this coffee has been standing up well alongside its neighbors as of late. And more so with each passing season. While not as aggressively tart and lively as a Kenyan or as floral and sweet as an Ethiopian, Tanzanian coffees generally blend the qualities of both rather well. The Southern growing region in particular, where Songea is located, tends to produce coffees with a clean cup and lively character. This lot, culled from numerous small-holders, is no exception.

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You'll find the Songea Peaberry adheres well to the general assumptions we would have about Southern Tanzania and its peaberries. We taste in particular sweet melon undertones with a tart, grapefruit/cherry punch and sparkling, effervescent acidity reminiscent of a Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a clean, bright cup that will play well hot or on ice. In fact, the Songea is replacing our Cenfrocafe from Peru as our new featured Cold Brew coffee in all of our cafés for the rest of the summer. Its clean, somewhat hoppy character is refreshing over ice.

As with our previous two new coffees we are featuring Songea on sale in our web store now through next Thursday, July 25th, at 20% off. Take home a few bags and brew it iced at home for these dog days of summer!