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Malawi Coffee – All You Need to Know About These Beans

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$ 0.88 - $1.12 per ounce

  • How to serve: Usually served as black coffee
  • flavor: Full body and flashy acidity, but floral aftertastes
Varieties Arabica, Robusta, Agaro, Geisha, Caturra, Catimor, SI 28, Nyika, Mzuzu
How to Serve Usually served as black coffee
Flavor Full body and flashy acidity, but floral aftertastes
Recommended Machine Stovetop, Pourover, Single Serve
Good As Lungo, Espresso, Cappuccino
Price Range $0.88 – $1.12 per ounce
Caffeine Level 0.8% on average

Have you ever heard of Malawi coffee? Did you know that the first cup of this beverage was first introduced back in the 1880s when the country still was British-held? What this means is that Malawi’s coffee history is actually pretty long, so you can expect something really good from it. Let’s take a look at reality – Is this coffee actually worth your time and attention?

Currently, the majority of coffee beans produced in Malawi are Arabica, however, some farms grow other varieties as well, including Geisha, Agaro, Robusta, etc. Today, there are a few coffee plantations in southern Malawi, with roughly 4000 smallholder farmers – the majority of them with less than 200 coffee plants each, found in Northern and Central Malawi and working inside cooperative organizations. The most commonly grown varieties include:

Arabica Robusta Agaro Geisha
Caturra Catimor SL28 Catuai

Believe it or not, Malawi coffee beans can claim to be one of Africa’s best-tasting and highest-quality coffees. Malawi’s coffees are distinguished by their substantial body and smooth flavor, with undertones of tasty chocolate. Generally, it is described as a sweet coffee with a rich flavor, so it can definitely brighten up all your mornings!

Despite the fact that coffee produced in the country is considered high-quality, the country still has some challenges – for instance, poor infrastructure. However, it is still perfectly possible to find some good coffees online, and that’s exactly what we are going to talk about in this guide.

Where Do They Produce Coffee In Malawi?

Aside from the huge region protected by Nyika National Park, which covers roughly 1160 square miles, smallholder farming predominates in the highlands. In light of the challenges and constraints that they experience as a result of living in isolated regions, some farmers in these highlands have turned to coffee cultivation, taking advantage of the favorable circumstances for this crop in the mountains. This cash crop has been cultivated there for several decades, and even the coffee producers’ association has formed since then.

Quality Malawi coffee is grown at high elevations in the country, with heights beginning at 3300 feet above sea level. It is mostly grown in the highlands of the Northern Region, where the climate is ideal for the crop. Because coffee is mostly grown by smallholders, it is frequently intercropped with other species to provide food for the household – recently, some farmers have begun to add macadamia trees, which can provide another profitable revenue source.

Besides smallholders, coffee is occasionally planted in contours of large farms as well in order to minimize soil runoff and erosion. The majority of coffee is processed in local washing stations before being transferred to secondary processing facilities in Mzuzu – the capital of Malawi’s Northern Region. Currently, these are the largest Malawi volcanic coffee-growing regions:

Top 3 Malawi Coffee Brands on Amazon

How We Rated Them

We pay attention to the following:

For more detailed information on how exactly we rate the coffee products we suggest in our guides, click here.

Individual Overviews of Our Top Choices

Simply naming our top choices would not be enough for you to know specific characteristics. Below, we will do individual overviews of these products, stating all the important facts and features about them, so you are able to choose the one that suits your interests the best.

Malawi Peaberry Coffee

Price: $$18.99 (subject to change)

Size: 16 oz

Type: Arabica

Roast: Medium/Light

Producer: Volcanica

Beans: Whole

The first on our list is Malawi Peaberry Coffee produced by Volcanica. Before we start discussing why this is one of the best Malawi coffees in 2021, let’s take a look at the brand behind the product. Volcanica was founded back in 2004 and has been in the industry for quite some time now. They do not only produce Malawi coffee but 130 different ones including decaf, estate, single-origin, and flavored. With them, you are able to get organically grown, Rainforest Alliance certified, and Fair-Trade certified beverages, so you don’t have to worry about the health issues that might be related to some other products.

Malawi Peaberry Coffee, also known as Malawi Mapanga “AA”, is smooth and full-bodied, comparable to others from East Africa. This Malawi Peaberry estate coffee is a gentler, more flowery version: delicate, and sweet. The subtropical climate where it is grown is characterized by a high concentration of clay minerals. The long maturation at a height of nearly 6,000 feet gives it a distinct profile, so you get the beans with a creamy body and less acidity than other coffees from nearby nations. It is important to note that this Malawi coffee has very little production, and I was pretty happy to discover it on Amazon.

Check Price on Amazon

Malawi Peaberry Aromaridge

Price: $$17.95 (subject to change)

Size: 16 ounces

Type: Arabica

Roast: Medium

Producer: AromaRidge

Beans: Whole

Malawi Peaberry Aromaridge is a Malawian coffee that comes with a rich, smoky body resulting in a super fruity flavor. With this product, you will be able to discover the taste of berries, milk chocolate, accompanied by spice notes culminating in a cup of coffee that is a delightful treat throughout the day.

Typically, Malawi peaberry coffee has a sweet, strong taste and is unexpectedly acidic. Because of its round form, it has a more equal roast blend of coffee that is ideal for all kinds of situations. All of these things can definitely be felt in this product – For the first try, I expected all these qualities, however, it is important to note that it is definitely a bit sweeter and fruity than the usual drink. So, if you are not a fan of very sweet coffee, then you might not want to go for this one.

For a 16-ounce package, you will have to pay $17.95 – some might think that this is a little bit expensive, however, due to the fact that the best Malawian coffee is not very easy to get, this price can easily be justified.

Check Price on Amazon

Malawi Mapanga AA

Price: $$16.99 (subject to change)

Size: 16 ounces

Type: Arabica

Roast: Medium

Producer: Volcanica

Beans: Whole

The last on our list is Malawi Mapanga AA – This is a fair trade, organically cultivated Arabica coffee of grade AA Plus from Malawi Bebe’s Cooperative. This cooperative’s producers are mostly concentrated in Malawi’s northern regions, meaning that coffee beans you receive are actually grown in Malawi, allowing you to describe the real taste coming right from East Africa.

So, finally, what does Malawi coffee taste like? A rich, mellow, and smooth body, sharp and crisp acidity, a lovely aromatic fragrance, and a clean, polished finish – that’s how I would describe it.

From what I have tasted, I can say that I could feel tones of white grape, and pineapple as well. Medium roasted whole beans enable the actual flavor characteristics to shine through a truly exceptional taste. When you first make a cup of coffee from this product, the smell coming from it will already be enough for you to fall in love with it. All in all, if you are someone who loves their coffee somewhere between mid to high acidity, accompanied by the accents of fruits, then you should definitely go for this one.

Check Price on Amazon

Recommended Machines for Brewing Malawi Coffee Beans

Once you’ve purchased your beans, it is important for you to know how to brew them. Every coffee bean has its own distinct method of preparation, but we decided to try these out with common household coffee makers. Below, we will discuss recommended machines for brewing, so you are able to get fresh Malawi coffee without any difficulties.

Espresso Machine – Best For Malawi Coffee

In my personal opinion, an Espresso Machine is the best (also kind of expensive) way to get the real flavor of these beans. The process of brewing coffee with an Espresso Machine is not too complicated, however, you might need several tries before you are able to make a perfect cup of coffee. All you need to have is:

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary equipment, it is time to get into the brewing process, following these instructions:

  1. Just before brewing, grind fresh whole beans.
  2. Put your coffee grounds into a clean portafilter
  3. Tamp your coffee evenly
  4. Insert the portafilter into the group head and start the brewing process
  5. Be aware of your time – If you don’t get it right your coffee might not taste very well – that happens in the case of a volumetric machine.
  6. Once the brewing process is over, pour your coffee into a cup
  7. Enjoy!

Check Out Our Espresso Machine Reviews

Percolator – Make Espresso Without Machine

Percolator may sound a little bit old-fashioned to a lot of people, however, it is still possible to brew a perfect cup of top Malawi coffee with it. So, what exactly is it? This is a machine for brewing coffee – you might associate it with a kettle, the only difference is that it comes with separate components for coffee grounds and water. All you need to have is:

The process of brewing coffee with a percolator is pretty easy, just follow these instructions listed below:

  1. Add water into your machine’s reservoir
  2. Put your coffee grounds in the upper basket. Make sure that all the parts of your percolator are connected in the right manner.
  3. Place your percolator on medium-level heat.
  4. Right before the water starts boiling, reduce the heat
  5. Keep your percolator on the heat for no more than 10 minutes. The waiting time is typically from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how strong you want your coffee.
  6. After 10 minutes, it is allowed to turn off the heat and let the coffee sit for a few minutes.
  7. Pour the coffee into your favorite cup.
  8. Enjoy!

Check Out The Best Percolators

Drip – A Budget Option

If you are looking for a budget option for your Malawi Mapanga coffee, then the drip method is the one you should go for. Making coffee with an automated drip coffee maker is one of the simplest methods of brewing a pot of coffee. What you need to have is:

If you are able to find all these items at your home, then congratulations, you are ready to immediately start your brewing process, which looks something like the following:

  1. Start with a grinder – grind your coffee and shake it in the process for a slightly more consistent grind.
  2. Add coffee to paper or permanent filter
  3. Pour the coffee into your machine’s reservoir.
  4. Press the start button
  5. Pour, drink, and enjoy!

The taste of your coffee will mostly depend on the type of Malawi coffee you use. Additionally, you should use a quality burr grinder for more consistent extraction throughout the brewing process.

Drip Machine Reviews Here

Frequently Asked Questions on Malawi Coffee Online

What type of coffee is grown in Malawi?

What does Malawi coffee taste like?