One of the oldest Arabica coffee varieties introduced to Africa. The variety originates from Typica introduced to Nyasland (now Malawi) in 1878 from Jamaica. By 1891 there was a flourishing coffee industry in Malawi, but eventually declined because of the marginal climate, which is hotter and drier than is usual for Typica, and because of the high incidence of pests including white stem borer. Inexperienced farmers allowed the plants to overbear in the first years, causing a precipitous fall in yields that ultimately led to the abandonment of coffee in Malawi.
Nyassaland was taken from Malawi to Uganda in 1910, where farmers also struggled with the variety. Early failure led to the widespread planting of Robusta in Uganda. But in recent years, there has been a small resurgence of Arabica growing on the slopes of Mount Elgon, where Nyasaland (locally called Bugisu) is an important variety for smallholders.