Zimbabwe Smaldeel Estate AA
A different spin on the Tanzanian and Kenyan cup profile. Good body and clean with a bit higher acidity than most central or south American coffees. Medium roast and body, notes of peach, lime zest, rhubarb, w/a tea-like body.
The Zimbabwe Smaldeel Estate has been around for over 100 years. The name “Smaldeel” is a Dutch word meaning “the narrow portion” and was given to the farm by early settlers. The estate is located on the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe. The cool, wet climate, paired with high altitudes, makes this land ideal for high volume coffee production.
The Smaldeel estate, which is now owned by Makandi Estates (Pvt.) Limited, had first started cultivating coffee in 1959. The estate cultivates approximately 200 hectares of land at an altitude of around 1,100 meters above sea level. What’s unique about the Smaldeel Estate is that they provide proper housing and a health clinic for its employees.
Typical Cup Profile: Medium body, rich aroma with caramel, chocolate and lemon rind flavors
Zimbabwe, which had once cultivated a name for high-quality coffee similar to the best East African coffees, has reduced coffee production from nearly 15,000 tons in 1999 to just over 300 tons in 2010. The country's coffee farms and infrastructure have suffered as a result of land reforms in the early 2000s that reduced the incentives for commercial farms to grow coffee. Without commercial farms to provide a backbone, the infrastructure needed to support small farms is difficult to maintain.
That said, there are small glimmers from Zimbabwe again, with some coffees from the Chipinge and Mutare districts appearing among the selections of some specialty roasters. A number of estates are slowly building a name for themselves as providers of specialty coffee. The best Zimbabwe estate coffees feature rich aroma, medium body and complex, balanced flavors that hint at caramel, chocolate and lemon rind. Harvest is from June to November, with shipping times between November and February.