The Blackburn estate is well known in speciality circles, both for the quality of its coffees and for the commitment of its owners to ecologically sensitive farming practises. Run by German ex-pats Michael and Tina Gehrken for over twenty years, the farm encourages bio-diversity and has created an ecosystem that negates the need for pesticides almost entirely. Situated in the shadow of Mount Oldeani the estate lies along the southern border of the Ngorongoro crater which is a haven for wildlife and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Furthermore, Michael and Tina have deliberately allowed for around 80% of the land to remain a mixture of grassland and natural savannah and the area is still home to a wide range of indigenous species including a large troop of baboons who must be regularly reminded that the ripe coffee cherries are intended for human consumption!
This coffee is fairly typical of East Africa in that it has a juicy and fruit-forward character alongside some slightly more atypical liquorice notes. Sweet and full bodied this high-altitude coffee is big and bold with plenty of toffee sweetness to balance the bright blackcurrant acidity. Best enjoyed as a filter, a brewing method which seems to accentuate its clean, mouth-watering fruitiness.
Farm: Michael & Tina Gehrken, at the Blackburn Estate, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Oldeani
Altitude: 1760 - 1950m
Variety: Kent & Nyassa arabica
Process: Fully washed
Filter – Blackcurrant, liquorice, toffee