slept all night in the cedar grove,
i was born to ramble, born to rove,
some men are searchin’ for the holy grail,
but there ain’t nothin’ sweeter
than ridin’ the rails”

“Cold Water,” by Tom Waits

Rabbit Hole Roasters’s Iyenga Tanzania comes from the Iyenga Cooperative, near the town of Mbozi in the region of Mbeya. The cooperative was established in 2003, with a membership of 64 farmers, and it has since grown to 193 members.

Most members’ farms are between 0.5 and 1.5 hectares, and most are intercropped with bananas, beans and maize, though coffee production is the primary source of income.

Members deliver their coffee cherries to a central processing unit (CPU), where the coffee is washed with a Penagos 500 machine. It’s then fermented in tanks for 12 to 24 hours, depending on the weather. And finally, the coffee is washed again with clean water and put on raised drying tables until it’s dried to 11 to 12 percent moisture.*


region: Mbozi District, Songwe, Tanzania
farm: Various
producer: Smallholder Farmers
association:  Iyenga Cooperative
elevation: 1675 – 1900
meters above sea level
cultivars: Bourbon, Kent, Nyasa
process: Fully Washed, Raised Bed Dried


The aroma of the Iyenga Tanzania is bold and full-on, booming out of the bag with dark fruits, dark cocoa, and baking spices.

In the cup, the coffee is full-bodied with a light, syrupy mouthfeel. Up front there are big flavors of dark chocolate and dark, fleshy fruit – raisin and prune. As the cup cools, it livens up with apricot, black currant, and a mild clementine acidity that lifts at room temperature to reveal flavors of clove, earthiness, and cedar, which play through a dry finish – not unlike the finish of a dry black tea.


I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from it when I added this selection to my Experience Box. But I had a feeling that, if nothing else, it would be unique. And that it was.

Rabbit Hole Roasters’s Iyenga Tanzania is complex and full-on. It’s musty but has great clarity; it’s full-bodied, but with a light mouthfeel; it’s sweet and fruity, while spicy and a little bitter. The finish really took me by surprise.

*content courtesy of Genuine Origin

What were your thoughts of this one? Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome! Contact me, or enter a comment below

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