Crown Jewel Tanzania RFA Karatu Vohora Family Natural CJ1529 – 30774 – SPOT RCWHSE

Price $208.89 per box

Box Weight 22 lbs

Position Spot

Boxes 3

Warehouses Oakland

Flavor Profile Lemon/lime, peach, black tea, caramel, bright, sugary

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This is a traditional natural coffee from Karatu, Tanzania, produced by the Vohora family on their Finagro farm. It’s a single cultivar selection of Ethiopian heirloom heritage and possesses Rainforest Alliance Certification. 

The flavor profile delicately balances terroir, cultivar, and process with elegant flavors of black tea, nectarine, pineapple, and honey. 

Our roasters found the coffee responded well to a slower, gentler roasting style to preserve its sweetness and floral flavors. 

When brewed our barista team found the coffee versatile but consistently sweet and chuggable as a pour-over, and effervescent and vivacious as an espresso. 

Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman 

Delicate processing on this coffee has preserved some incredible flavors – the team in Tanzania carefully balanced elements of local terroir, the natural processing method, and the coffee’s genetic legacy with grace and elegance. The result is a deliciously sweet coffee with unparalleled balance, a moderately fruit-forward character, and a distinctive floral character. 

The initially offered pre-shipment sample cupped incredibly well, and I noted pineapple, purple grape, and violet among my descriptors. The recently landed coffee when sampled at the office offered definitive rose-like characteristics and cherry-like notes with its sweetness described as “lollipop-like.” 

Doris’ production roast yielded a coffee that cuppers found black tea-like in character, and which offered a balance between a nectarine, plum, and peach-like flavor with pleasant citrusy acids. This roast, when brewed by our barista team proved versatile and playful, with consistently sweet and chuggable pour-overs and vivacious, effervescent espressos. 

Source Analysis by Chris Kornman 

Under the watchful guidance of sibling team Neel and Kavita Vohora, the Edelweiss and Finagro farms have begun to blossom from well-managed estate farms, spanning 1000 acres across multiple ridges of the Ngorongoro caldera in northern Tanzania, into an innovative and genre-defying coffee enterprise. I’ve worked with Neel and Kavita, and the coffees from the farms for nearly 15 years and I can definitively say that their most recent harvest is the most exciting I’ve ever tasted. 

This naturally processed Ethiopian landrace selection is from among the farm’s very small production of this cultivar, and nearly the only semi-traditional dry-processed coffee of the season. The trees are cultivated from selections at the local coffee research station, where Neel has befriended the lead researcher. Tanzania, outside of Ethiopia, holds one of the oldest genetic banks of Ethiopian selections from British expeditions in the early 20th century.  

As with all of the coffees grown on Finagro, the team at the farm’s processing station, led by their longtime manager Francis Mutavi, have entered a new era of production methodology this year. The Vohora’s farms continue to innovate in processing methodology; rather than resting on the laurels of tradition, nearly all of their coffee (including the commercial volumes of larger lots) goes through a cherry maceration period prior to processing. 

In the case of microlots, like this natural Ethiopian landrace, the pre-fermentation duration is determined specifically by cultivar, through a trial-and-error process that’s been honed into precise protocols to bring out the best in each variety, including measuring the pH of the fermentation to adjust for differences in overnight temperature or microbiome, for example. In this case, the harvest macerated in whole cherry on raised beds under protective “tents” for 4 days, and was then carried down the hill to Finagro’s extensive raised bed network where it dried in single-cherry layers for an additional fifteen days. After this is finished, parchment is stored in GrainPro until it can be milled in Vohora’s facility back in Arusha.  

Ngorongoro, the world’s largest unbroken caldera, looms over a verdant landscape, the shell of an ancient, ruptured volcano. Inside its walls, a wildlife conservation area cut off from much access to the outside world, is home to hordes of zebra, eland, gazelles, wildebeests, two prides of lions, hyenas, hippopotami, and scores of other local birds and mammals, including a small population of black rhino. The Maasai, among the region’s more visible residents with distinctive red flannel robes and unchanged traditions of nomadism, are frequent visitors, passing through the crater with their goat and cattle herds in tow. The caldera’s wildlife are no strangers to the farms, either. Native forest corridors on the estates allow freedom of movement for the animals as they migrate, but it’s fairly common to find damage to the coffee trees; the most frequent offenders being elephants and water buffalo.  

The Vohora’s estates are nestled into the caldera’s outer ridges, bordering the park. Since 1969, the Vohoras have owned about 1000 acres of farmland on the southern exterior slopes near the town of Karatu. Neel and Kavita’s grandfather arrived from India, first working for the British colonists as a farm manager prior to the nation’s independence. Their father, Ajai, heads the export business from nearby Nairobi; Kavita runs the milling and sampling operations back in Arusha.  

You can read more about the farms in a recent blog. 

Green Analysis by Chris Kornman 

 This is a very unique green coffee offering – closely guarded Ethiopian genetics rarely exit their country, but Neel Vohora has managed to secure some plants through relationships he’s cultivated with the local coffee research station in northern Tanzania. Not only is this Ethiopian seed stock, but it’s also a true landrace accession – real heirloom coffee from field selections rather than seeds that are bred-and-distributed agricultural center cultivars.  

 The green smells fresh but only vaguely fruity, and the silver skin is mostly still attached. Only the faintest hue to the beans hint that the coffee was dried in whole cherry. The coffee looks small but screens out mostly 16-18 (the Vohora grade even their microlots by the old British system; this lot is a standard AB by those rulse). It’s somewhat long in shape and that’s consistent with its Ethiopian origin story. It’s also modest overall in density, but much higher than similar cultivars from Finagro… again this is consistent with its heritage. It is very nicely dried to 10.4% moisture and has a low, stable water activity level. 

Diedrich IR5 Analysis by Doris Garrido 

To roast this Tanzania natural I took notes from my arrival sample, a 100g sample (about 3.53 oz) roasted on the Proaster. At that time, this coffee tasted clean and delicate with some floral notes. Based on that, I decided to approach a long roast — around 10 minutes, for a 5.5 lb. batch in the Diedrich IR5 roaster. 

The coffee had a slightly low density (720 g/l) and an average moisture content of 10.5%. I thought I could address this by giving it some extra drying and Maillard time. I started the roast charging at 400F with 70% gas and ran that for 2 minutes. Then I gave it a 100% push and began lowering the gas before the color change. First, I lowered it to 70%, then to 45%, and immediately to 30%. At this point, I had enough energy and wanted to slow down the roast. I marked the color change and dropped the gas to 0% for a minute before increasing it back to 30%. This gave me an opportunity to work on the Maillard reaction and start 50% airflow at 357F and open the full air at 377F lowering the rate of change to 12.5/60 seconds when I hit first crack at 388F. For development, I aimed to enhance the sweetness, so I gave it 1 minute and 31 seconds. I reduced the gas power to 0% again to prevent the caramelization process from becoming too intense, which helped maintain the fruity acidity. 

The resulting roast showcased flavors of nectarine, lemon, lemon candy, citric, plum, nougat, cooked peach, sour patch, honey, black tea, and caramelized sugar. While it doesn’t have a strong natural flavor profile, this coffee offers great sweetness and a warm, comforting quality. This roast was simply perfect for a pour-over brew due to its clean characteristics. 

Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman 

Unless otherwise noted, we use both the site and Artisan software to document our roasts on the Bullet. You can find our roast documentation below, by searching on, or by clicking on the Artisan links below.  

Generally, we have good results starting our 500g roasts with 428F preheating, P6 power, F2 fan, and d6 drum speed. Take a look at our roast profiles below, as they are constantly changing! 

Fragrant and delicate, this Tanzania selection is one of the few fruit-dried coffees I’ve tasted so far this year that aren’t fruit forward. The delicate flavors here don’t harken back to natural processing in any sort of heavy-handed way and contribute nicely to the tealike and floral cup.  

I had the distinct advantage of reading through everyone’s notes before roasting this coffee, and took Chris, Doris, and Isabella’s notes to heart when roasting. I knew this coffee needed a gentle touch due to its low density and smaller screen size, but I wanted to make sure to bring this coffee quickly, just as my compatriots did. I started with 446F charge temperature, P8 power and F2 fan, and reduced my push to P7 and F3 at Turning Point. Just before yellowing, I reduced heat application to P6, and increased fan to F4 to draw this roast through Maillard a little bit more slowly than its original trajectory seemed to point to. At 365F I began to reduce heat even further to P5 since I know roasts on the Bullet can take off a little at that point. I remained there for 1 minute and returned to P6 just before First Crack, concurrently raising my airflow to F5 to temper the increase in delta that could have happened if I had increased heat alone. After first crack I reduced again to P5, and was able to achieve 1:11 of development and an end temperature of 395F. 

This roast turned out very well by my estimation. It looked rather undeveloped when I dropped it, but it gained a little color on resting that seemed to match the developed flavors in the cup a little more. Red candy shell sweetness (like a dipped cone from a .. Dairy Royalty chain that shall remain nameless), milk chocolate, violet florals, and a touch of lemongrass tartness graced this coffee.  

This is a prime candidate for single origin drip, and I’m having trouble not finishing this second cup. It’s a chuggable but ponderable coffee. Roast and drink with confidence! 

Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Isabella Vitaliano  

Our current Ikawa practice compares two sample roast profiles, originally designed for different densities of green coffee. The two roasts differ slightly in total length, charge temperature, and time spent between color change in first crack. You can learn more about the profiles here. 

From macadamia nuts to Geshas to natural coffees the Vohora family have been producing some excellent work this past year. This is no surprise as the family has been diligently cultivating and innovating on their farm since the 1970s. Doris and I explore which of these sample profiles best represents the work that has been tended to by this third generation of producers.  

The hot and fast high density roast brought out the sharpness this coffee has to offer. The acidity was brighter with green grapes, jasmine, honeysuckle, and graham cracker. Although the acidity offered a lot, it remained unbalanced and held a thinner finish.   

The long and slow low density roast was mild in flavor but highly complex. With notes of ripe orange, maple syrup, lime zest, plum-like body, and palm sugar. The sweetness was very developed and nuanced but had a slightly toasty hazelnut finish.  

Although very different on the first pass both cooled very similarly. The low density roast held its structure and flavor better and overall cooled more nicely than the high density roast. Doris initially preferred the acidity of the high acidity of the HD profile but leaned towards the LD profile by the end of the cupping. I had to agree that the LD outperformed the HD roast.  

You can roast your own by linking to our profiles in the Ikawa Pro app here: 

Roast 1: Low Density Sample Roast 

Roast 2: High Density Sample Roast   

Brew Analysis by Colin Cahill 

Rumor had it this coffee had cupped quite well, and I was excited to see how it would taste across pour over devices and recipes. We’ve had a bunch of fun naturals and anaerobics coming in for analysis and service here at The Crown recently, and this one really stands out to me for being both really clean, sweet, and complex (in terms of layers of desirable flavors). We brewed it on a variety of flatbed and cone devices, getting some really bright and fruity brews on the Kalita Wave, the Saint Anthony Industries C70, and the Hario V60.  

On the Kalita Wave, we tried a few different recipes, playing around with the coarseness of the grind. Working with 19 grams of beans, ground at a 9 on our EK43, a bloom pour of 50 grams of water, and a bloom time of 40 seconds. Two more pours brought our water dose up to 300 grams in, draining out in a total brew time of 3:52. The resulting brew had a TDS of 1.52, on the upper end of our bar average, but very typical based on our observations of trends in the extractability of East African coffees. This brew had a rich, silky, buttery body, with the sweetness of date syrup. We tasted fig paste, honey, honeydew, sandiita (or cucamelon), and matcha. Brewed up with the same dose of beans ground at a coarser setting with the same brew recipe, this coffee had both a lighter body and brighter acidity. It had more of a brown sugar sweetness, with notes of rhubarb, grapefruit, blackberry, and chocolate. The cup character changed dramatically for us with grind adjustments, but the quality of the brews stayed sweet, complex, and oh-so-sippable.   

 On the cone brewers, we got some really fun acidity and fruity notes. Working with the Hario V60, we ground up 19 grams of beans at a 9.5 on our EK43. Brewed up with the same recipe as the previous brews (aside from the grind size), we received a brew at 3:50 with a TDS of 1.32 and an extraction percentage of 17.72. This lighter brew was bright and wild! We tasted pineapple, fruit punch, strawberries, lemonade, and soft floral notes. On the Saint Anthony Industries C70, brewed with the same recipe, we tasted strawberry and pineapple, hibiscus, more complex notes of cola, and a bit more chocolate. The brews from the cone drippers had more syrupy, bright notes. 

 Across brewer types, we received coffees ranging in terms of acidity and body, from richer, heavier brews to lighter, brighter brews. They were consistently sweet and chuggable, and I’m excited to keep playing around with this delightful coffee in our Tasting Room. 

Espresso Analysis by MJ Smith 

Right out of the bag, this coffee lured me in with an enticing and nostalgic fragrance that somehow reminded me of the summer vacations of my youth. As I’ve probably mentioned before in previous analyses, I love dialing in new natural process coffees for the first time because you never know what you’re going to get! This coffee from the Finagro estate is truly exceptional as an espresso, with tasting notes ranging from pineapple to cola to sage to stone fruit. This espresso has a distinct acidity that’s almost effervescent but is rounded out by a delightful sweetness, with just a hint of fresh green, herbs. 

The first shot I’m going to discuss is a pretty standard recipe of 19 grams in, 38.5 grams out, pulled right at 30 seconds. While the dial may be standard, that’s the last way I would describe this espresso. Initially, I was greeted by notes of pineapple, honey, and sage, but as I sat with it, I began to notice some deeper notes of cola, blood orange, and stone fruit. I shared some with the rest of the barista team and got feedback with notes of green apple, cola, butterscotch, orange, sage, powdered sugar, and cashew. All in all, super tasty! 

The next recipe is a little more on the edges of our typical dialing range, with a higher dose of 20 grams in, a lower yield of 36.5 grams out, and a longer shot time of 34 seconds. This shot brought me to the brink of over-caffeination because it was so good that I accidentally drank way too much of it… At first, I noticed flavors of nectarine, honey, and subtle blackberry. The effervescence I mentioned before was really present in this shot in the form of lemon-lime soda. All of that excitement was balanced out by the nostalgic flavor of Werther’s caramel and meringue, with just a hint of cardamom.  

I think this coffee makes for wonderful espresso, especially for these upcoming summer months. It’s bright, tangy, and fun, but also sweet enough to be enjoyed by coffee lovers across the board. I enjoyed both the 19g and 20g dose shots, but being that the coffee I’m using for this analysis is two weeks off roast, I really liked the higher dose. Hope you love it like I do!