Today only! Zambia: Mubuyu Farms / by Steve Willingham

Today we'll be featuring a coffee origin country on our Chemex bar that doesn't get a lot of love most of the time: Zambia.

Zambia is the southern neighbor of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. While Zambia is in a coffee-friendly part of the world, they have actually had some rough conditions lately for coffee. The country is in a drought. Their severe water shortage is causing strain, not only on agriculture, but on hydroelectric power and even drinking water in some places.

That, combined with low coffee prices, has caused many farms to just up and quit. The Lublinkhof family decided a few years ago to stick it out on their farm, Mubuyu Estate. Not only are they continuing to grow coffee, but they're competing in the specialty game. This requires a lot of work, raising trees for years before harvesting, carefully picking only the ripest cherries, and processing the coffee in just the right way. It's high risk in Zambia, but the reward for growing specialty grade coffees can be a huge surge in price to the right buyer. Their investment and commitment have really paid off.

The Lublinkhof Family. (Photo courtesy of Intelligentsia)

The Lublinkhof Family. (Photo courtesy of Intelligentsia)

Mubuyu Estate sold almost all their coffee to Intelligentsia Coffee out of Chicago. This has given them a chance to pay off the debt they accumulated while trying to save their farm and allowed them to look toward the future. We're excited to have it on Chemex all day today. We're tasting a little lemon, raisins, and a whole lot of chocolate. We're even more excited to see what the future holds for Zambian coffee.