The Meikles Story: A Silent introduction of High Country Coffee

  • Written by Oscar Habeenzu
  • Published in Agriconomy

(Agriconomy) Whilst many farmers and estates are lamenting the former glories of Zimbabwean coffee production, the Tanganda Estates, a subsidiary of Meikles Africa Limited, silently introduces High Country Coffee.

Highly aromatic, Zimbabwe coffee is a medium-bodied with a medium density and lively berry-like or citrusy acidity. Typically wet processed (washed), a good Zimbabwe coffee is well-balanced with a rich flavour and fine aftertaste.

While some Zimbabwe coffees may not be as rich or full-bodied as a fine Kenyan coffee, Zimbabwe’s coffee quality is good and improving with increased exports to the United States in recent years. Most of the country’s coffee is grown on medium-sized farms.

Research Economist, Freeman Gutsa, said to NewsDay, “Currently, at national level, coffee is on about 379 hectares. Of this, 300 hectares is under 2 commercial farmers whilst only 79 hectares is under 392 small-scale farmers. At its peak, the country used to have about 8 000 hectares under coffee, more than 1000 small-scale coffee producers and 100 large-scale producers.

Okay, never mind the economics of production of the coffee, and all other debatable of the agricultural sector; let us look at the stage and speak of the blue ocean of coffee brands, to see the hope sparked by brands like Tanganda’s High Country Coffee.

What matters now is the stage at the point of purchase and consumption, where the shopper picks up the coffee and goes home to brew it, either imported or local coffee.

Zimbabwean coffee is known world over for its high-quality, sweet, citric, chocolatey taste, and brand profile, High Country Coffee by Tanganda perfectly matching these standards.

Strategically introduced, High Country is Tanganda’s coffee brand that is found in TM Pick N Pay stores, and other selected supermarkets in Zimbabwe, mostly in Harare, Bulawayo, and tourist towns.

You find High Country positioned amongst imported coffee brands such as House of Coffees, Prime Coffee, yet a shelf away from local rivals like Leopard of Vumba Coffees.

High Country is a medium roast Arabic coffee, with pleasant aroma, citric and yes, chocolatey taste, with a beautiful brown, yellow and green self-sealing packaging that one would want even visitors to see when they come over for a brew.

The Tanganda Coffee brand has a consistent price of US$5.29, which has stood for several months running to September 2018, whilst other brands changed their prices. 

High Country Coffee is priced 16% to 30% cheaper than local coffees, and 50% to 70% less than imported coffee brands. 

Okay, back to Agriconomics, “Zimbabwe can produce around 15 000 tonnes given the past experience, state-of-the-art coffee mills, firming average prices and perfect growing conditions for the beans in the country, particularly in the Eastern Highlands and other strategic districts such as Goromonzi, Guruve, Hurungwe and Makonde.” said Gutsa

There being a 430 tonne current national coffee production, yet a potential of 15,000 tonnes, Tanganda’s High Country Coffee has potential for not only local growth with its sister company’s retail network, but also exporting to markets since served before land reform.

There is demand for Zimbabwean Coffee, even so Tanganda’s High Country, as it contends in taste and quality with East African and South America power houses of the coffee world.