Coffee is said to have been introduced to Tanzania from Ethiopia by the Haja people in the 16th century. The so-called 'Haya coffee' (also known as 'amwani') was probably a Robusta variety, which is traditionally boiled, then smoked for several days and then chewed.
Coffee as we know it today came to Tanzania with the Catholic missionaries in 1898. The Arabica varieties Kent, Nyssa, Bourbon and the sought-after Blue Mountain beans are predominantly cultivated, but Robusta is also grown. In addition, the rare Peaberry is common in Tanzania. Many plantation owners grow the coffee bushes together with banana trees, which provide the shade-loving coffee with optimal protection from the sun.
Compared to other African coffees, coffee from Tanzania is characterized by a light body and very restrained acidity. The beans from Lake Victoria have a somewhat heavier, sweet-dry aroma. The Arabicas from the rest of the country are characterized more by fresh nuances with subtle notes of berries and citrus.