Malawi is a relatively small landlocked nation in South East Africa. With a population of 16million, it’s people are heavily involved in agriculture – predominantly through subsistence farming methods. Tea, Tobacco and Coffee as well as cash crops are the main forms of income. Having gained independence from its colonial governing, Malawi experienced 30 years of authoritarian rule from a quixotic President. This has slowly given way to more democratic forms of governance, and since the 1990’s Malawi’s economy has steadily improved.
Coffee production in Malawi is fairly small in size, and a nation that is relatively unknown throughout the world – especially in the specialty world. However, given the meticulous care and attention the coffee receives from the predominantly small holder producers, the high altitude it is grown at, the heritage of its varietals and fully washed processing methods, it is only a matter of time before Malawi is at the forefront of the specialty coffee world. The cup taste of coffee from Malawi is reminiscent of a Yirgacheffe, containing floral and limey overtones with a moderate acidity and body and chocolate undertones. The future for Malawi is not only dependent on the continued dedication and investment in coffee, but also improvements to infrastructure – geographically Malawi is landlocked, and with a poor internal infrastructure, highland mountain passes and poor roads, exporting coffee from Malawi on time and in good order poses considerable challenges to both the exporter and importer alike