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This coffee estate in Tanzania is a partnership of growers and roasters. Owned by Mark Stell (Portland Roasting Company) and Leon and Aideen Christianakis (local Tanzanian coffee farmers), this relationship is a powerful combo that works to elevate coffee in the entire Ngorongoro region through a yearly cupping event.


Watch owners Mark Stell, Aideen & Leon Christianakis chat about all things Acacia Hills, from recent harvest conditions to their elephant problem:

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People

Five Senses Coffee

Mark Stell

Owner
Portland USA

Five Senses Coffee

Leon Christianakis

Owner
Tanzania

Five Senses Coffee

Aideen Christianakis

Owner
Tanzania

Beyond the Cup

Cupping at the Crater

From the inception of Acacia Hills, the goal was to not only improve their own coffee, but to elevate the coffee of the entire region. With Mark having first hand experience as a coffee buyer, he understood the appeal of being able source and explore a region at a single, central cupping. From this, the Ngorongoro Coffee Group was born and in 2012 their inaugural ‘Cupping at the Crater’ event was held – which we were lucky enough to attend!

What started off as just Acacia Hills Estate and their neighbouring farm, Shangri-La Estate, has grown to a group over 6 estates in the Ngoronrogo region. Receiving cupping feedback from a variety of people, exploring what other estates are producing, and the sharing of growing and processing knowledge among farms has helped improve the coffee quality of all involved.

Tanzania Water Project

After assessing the local area around the farm, 3 small villages – roughly 2,000 people, the Acacia Hills team found that 25% of their workforce were always sick from waterborne illness or suffering dehydration, and the average house was walking 6 hours a day for water. With these shocking stats in mind, the Tanzania Water Project was started and fundraising began with Five Senses, as well as many other coffee roasters around the world, jumping on board.

With a water source on the Acacia Hills farm that had not been developed in the last 70 years, an ambitious piping and storage project began. Bringing water down to the village and setting up storage tanks has considerably improved the access to water in the local area. This project is an excellent example of both wanting to be a positive impact in the local area and an improvement for the business – healthy workers are needed on the farm. Win, win!


Relationship Timeline

2020

Acacia Hills Estate helped us kick off our Explorer Cupping series with dedicated interviews. We were also able to feature their first honey processed Gesha! Read more. 
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2018

Second harvest of Gesha hits our line-up, as well as the first Pacamara harvest. This Gesha again features in our ‘Geshas Around the World’ tasting flight at MICE.

Project: Tanzania Water Project.
From building an elephant proof dam to piping water 1.5 miles to the village and setting up multiple 500L tanks, this hasn’t been a small project. The result: bringing easy water access to over 2000 people!
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2017

The first harvest of Gesha arrives! This coffee features in our ‘Geshas Around the World’ tasting flight at MICE.
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2014

Willing to expand and experiement, new Geisha, Pacamara and Castillo trees are planted on the farm.
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2013

First purchase from Acacia Hills Estate hits out lineup!

Five Senses attended the second Cupping at the Crater. Read More.
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2012

After a chance meeting with our green bean buyer at the Gems or Araku cupping event in India, Mark invited Five Senses to attend the inaugural Cupping in the Crater Event.
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2007

Mark Stell and Leon & Aideen Christianakis purchase a run-down Acacia Hills Estate and begin the long task of getting it operational again.


Contact Acacia Hills

Website: www.acaciahillscoffeeestate.com
Instagram: @acaciahillscoffee