Roasting Guide

Zimbabwe is a washed-process coffee -- a good Zimbabwe stands as a solid single origin -- it is a cousin to a Kenya.  There is a lot of SL-28 varietal coffee grown in Zimbabwe (that's the varietal that Kenya is famous for), which gives it an expected nice brightness, some wine tones, currant, and medium body.  Taking the bean right to the 2nd cracks seems to be the best roast level, although the really nice crops can go lighter and showcase their acidity and undertones.  

However, the US rarely gets these Zimbabwe beans with fruit-characteristics.  Alternately, we tend to see Zimbabwe coffees that are dense and large and can be roasted very dark, showcasing a copper metallic taste with slight citrus sweetness. 


This country seems like it is too far South to really be growing coffee, but it makes it work. In the early 1990's some great coffee came from here, but at this time only a handful of estates are left that still export their harvests.  While the early 1990's saw hundreds of farms in Zimbabwe, now only 4 farms growing organic coffee still exist in Zimbabwe, and not all of them make their way to the USA, so selecting one doesn't take much work -- either you like it, or else you don't carry Zimbabwe that year.