My first coffee from Malawi comes to us from the Malawi Misuku Cooperative, one of six cooperatives that come together to form the Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union. The Mzuzu Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative works with 3000 producers from six villages in northern Malawi. The cooperative places an impressive and inspiring emphasis on rural and social development, with a focus on improving food and housing security, education, and opportunities for women.
The Misuku Cooperative is located in northern Malawi, near the southern border of Tanzania. The northern hills of Malawi receive plenty of rainfall, and the influence of Lake Malawi (the 9th largest lake in the world) helps to maintain a moderate climate with excellent soil conditions.
When the co-op’s not improving farmers’ lives, it’s helping them produce gorgeous coffees like this one.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Malawi Misuku Cooperative, from Tinker Coffee Company in Indianapolis, Indiana. Feel free to pull up a chair.
origin: Chitipa District, Northern Region, Malawi
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Malawi Misuku Cooperative
elevation: 1700 – 2000 meters above sea level
cultivars: Catimor, Geisha, Agano, Nyika
process: fully washed, rasied bed dried
The aroma of this Malawi Misuku is sweet, fragrant, and complex. A massive presence of butterscotch, vanilla, and brown sugar introduces a mixture of cranberry, citrus, and flowers.
Its flavor profile matches its nose; this is a pretty complex coffee, and it is oh so delicious. A very well-rounded and balanced, medium-bodied coffee with a soft, smooth, buttery mouthfeel. Butterscotch and vanilla extract, again, are present in the cup and those flavors are accompanied by further sweet notes of lemon loaf, rum cake, and brown sugar while cranberry, raspberry streusel, orange acidity, and tart green apple round out the finish, leaving behind honeysuckle and orange blossom, fluttering throughout.
Medium body; buttery mouthfeel; citric acidity; clean finish.
Malawi Misuku presented my palate with a soft, buttery, complex coffee with loads of flavor; citrus, apple, berries, florals, and even nuances of sugary pastry persisted throughout the cup. It was sweet and tart, sugary and fruity, buttery and supple. And more than all of that, it was absolutely delicious.
I had mentioned to the fine folks at Tinker Coffee that I was interested in expanding my horizons this year; in searching out new and exciting coffees from regions I had never tried coffee from before. Without any hesitation, they replied that I needed to sample their Malawi Misuku. It’s a coffee that they were very excited to send my way and I’m really glad they did; because I can report to you, without any hesitation, that this coffee is impeccable.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.