About This Coffee
The Ngapani and Chipale estates in the Sable Farms group really set an example for coffee production both nationally and internationally. In a region with poor infrastructure, no connection to the power grid and uncertain access to water, the Ngapani estate is a fully drip-irrigated coffee producing operation. The estate built a school for the local community and through the sale of coffee they have been able to invest in a clean drinking water supply for the community and farm. Ngapani Estate alone is the largest employer in the agricultural sector of Malawi’s Mangochi district. In total, the Sable farms employ 1800 workers and keep a permanent staff of 70 people.
Sable Farms is Rainforest Alliance certified, which means that all cultivation methods highly prioritise environmental conservation.
Harvest & Post-Harvest
All coffee is processed on the estate. It undergoes a classic Fully washed process with a 12-hour fermentation. Afterwards, the coffee is dried on raised beds. The Sable farms also own a dry mill infrastructure to prepare the coffee for export.
Coffee in Malawi
Coffee was first introduced to British-held Malawi by missionaries during the 1880s. During this time, commercial growing areas were mainly concentrated in Thyolo and Mulanje, in the South. Unlike in other East African colonies, coffee never quite took off in Malawi. Various factors, including the success of tobacco farming in the country, prevented the crop from becoming the mainstay that it was in its neighbours to the North, Tanzania and Kenya. It wasn’t until much later, post-independence, that the potential was seen.
Even today, coffee production in Malawi remains low. But what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. The landlocked country produces some lovely lots. Malawi neighbours Mozambique to its east and south, Zambia to its west and Tanzania to its north. The Mulanje Massif runs through the south of the country, which provides the river network with most of its water. Another important water source is Lake Malawi. In all, the country has all it needs to produce some exceptional coffee.