East Africa is known for its coffee plantations and richly roasted beans. And while the majority of this morning brew gets shipped to far-flung regions of the world, it’s still possible to visit areas where this age-old tradition of farming remains a way of life.
In Tanzania, roughly 270,000 people are employed by the coffee industry, which produces some 40,000 metric tons of Arabica and Robusta beans each year. Higher-quality Arabica beans grow in the fertile soils surrounding Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, Usambara Mountains, and the Matengo Highlands in the north. Close to 90 percent of the nation’s growing fields are owned by farmers and communities and harvest typically takes place between October and February.
It’s possible for travelers to visit some of the country’s bigger plantations, but those looking to sample a cup of locally grown coffee don’t have to venture to rural areas to do so. Africafe Coffee House, on Old Boma Road near the Arusha’s clock tower, serves up traditionally brewed coffee alongside pastries and muffins, making it the perfect stop for afternoon tea. Or in this case—coffee.