Zambia is not a coffee growing country we see many samples from. There is plenty of coffee being exported from the region, but their coffee-growing history is much younger than those that surround them. The first coffee was planted in Zambia in the 1950s, however, it wasn’t until the last few decades that it became a major contributor to Zambia’s agri-business sector. Isanya is one of a cluster of coffee estates are very close to Kasama town, in Zambia’s Northern Province. Estates and “plantations” make up the bulk of coffees that are exported from Zambia.
For the Natural-processed ‘Gold’ coffees, the best cherries are carefully selected with double handpicking (ensuring a consistency of over 98% of fully formed red ripe cherries) before being dried on raised beds. The cherries are spread across the beds in thin layers to ensure even drying, and regularly turned over a period of 3 to 4 weeks.
The Northern province has the best conditions for arabica coffee cultivation in Zambia with its relative proximity to the equator and abundant altitude (Mafinga Hills being the highest point in the country at 2,300 masl). Most coffee grows from 1,300 – 2,300 masl.