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Acacia Hills

Acacia Hills

We visited Tanzania for the first time this year. After traveling in the south of Tanzania, we arrived at Kilimanjaro airport late at night and were warmly welcomed by Leon. From the moment we met him, we felt his calm and gentle nature and was a kind gentleman. Leon’s farm, Acacia Hills, was listed as the winner of a private auction in Tanzania organized by ACE (The Alliance for Coffee Excellence). Tanzania is still in its infancy as a specialty coffee producing country, and I decided to reach out to him to learn more about the producers at the forefront of the industry. Leon’s story embodies the history of coffee production in northern Tanzania itself, and it also vividly reflects the future of specialty coffee in Tanzania. After returning to Japan from our trip, we spoke with him online. In the pursuit of quality The history of coffee in northern Tanzania begins in the 19th century. Coffee trees were brought to northern Tanzania from Reunion Island near Madagascar and immigrants from Germany, the occupying country at the time, developed it into an industry. “Most of the coffee plantations here in northern Tanzania seem to have been established around the 1920s after World War I. An old map we’ve come across, showed that about 80 German immigrant families moved here and established small coffee plantations.” Leon’s grandparents were also immigrants who came to Tanzania from Greece around the early 1900s and made a living from coffee production. Leon is the third generation of the family. The family’s house is located on the outskirts of Arusha, near the Kilimanjaro International Airport. His grandfather and father mostly grew...

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