What's the meaning of Kahawa?
Kahawa means… you guessed it- coffee. That’s the Swahili word for coffee. This word, like many others in the Swahili vocabulary, originates from the Arabic language. After all, coffee was first brewed in Arabic speaking Yemen.
To wrap things up nicely, the festival took place in the Kahawa house– where big auctions of green Arabica beans are being held.
Tanzanians and tourists, people from the industry looking to make new connections, or people coming for a nice time and lots of coffee tastings. Each with their own reason, there was a lot to see and learn. And, me, I came for you of course. Driving down to Moshi town is something I do a lot, every day sometimes, from my home on the Kilimanjaro.
Just like everybody here, I’m a big fan of the local Arabica coffee.
Here are some of the things I liked best along the festival stands and attractions:
Union café is my go to spot in Moshi town. I love their coffee and their welcoming staff.
Running into their stand was a double win for me. I got to drink my favorite coffee, and I found out about the rich history of the union, being the first café in Moshi, and one of the first coffee unions in Tanzania.
This was by far the most popular stand in the festival. Coming from the Swahili coast of Tanzania, where spices are grown, Kahawa Lishe mix numerous spices and other ingredients- including even tree resin- with the coffee. The mix is said to have healing properties, and can bring relief to a number of medical conditions.
The barista competition
The competition took place throughout the 3 days of the festival. Young baristas from all around arrived to demonstrate their skills.
The coffee research institute
In order to maximize the quality and yield of Tanzanian coffee, the institute conducts extensive field research. They meet the farmers, most of them owners of family micro plots, hear them, and see where training is needed.
Best coffee packaging
This was definitely the most beautiful packages in the festival. African fabrics and Kilimanjaro coffee- perfect!
The Kahawa house
It was only becoming that the festival took place in the Kahawa house, where small farm growers come to sell their Arabica coffee yield.
The coffee market in Tanzania is regulated by the government. The aim is to protect the small scale farmers and to insure they get a fair price for their yield.
Seasonal auctions for all of the Kilimanjaro region, regulated by the coffee board, take place in this building- Kahawa house.
Is Kilimanjaro coffee the best in the world?
It is! If you ask me, and millions of consumers.
The lower elevations of mount Kilimanjaro provide optimal conditions for Arabica coffee bushes to thrive. For that reason, Arabica coffee is also known as “Mountain coffee”.
In rainy and cool environment, the coffee bushes grow under the shade of banana trees, surrounded by the dense natural forest which contributes to enriching and protecting the land. To this day, Kilimanjaro farmers keep their coffee cultivation organic and sustainable.