Uganda

Coffee is indigenous to Uganda. Centuries ago, before coffee was known as a beverage, Ugandan warriors would chew wild coffee beans before going into battle which would stimulate them, give them courage and make them feel invincible. Today, there are an estimated 500,000 coffee farms in Uganda, most of them small family holdings, and while coffee has certainly become a commercial crop, it still has ceremonial significance among the many tribes of this country.

Coffee Specifics

Bugisu Washed Arabica is the most renowned of the Uganda Arabicas. Grown in and around Mbale on the slopes of the Elgon Mountain range, this coffee compares very favourably with other East African high grown coffees. Named after the Bagisu tribe who farm these slopes, Bugisu coffee is processed prior to export and the clean coffee is separated into three main grades, classified by bean size:

  • Bugisu AA – Screen 17 And Above: A bold, uniform, bright green appearance, well-balanced, moderately bodied cup with delicate background fruitiness.
  • Bugisu AB – Above Screen 15 With 50 Percent Above 16: Bold looking, light-bodied with ideal balancing of acidity and hints of chocolate.
  • Bugisu Peaberry – From Screen 14 And 15: Bold green appearance, clean, sweet molasses flavour with long finish and moderate body

Wugar (Okoro Washed Arabica) is grown in the West Nile Region of Uganda, at an altitude ranging from 1,450 to 1,800 metres. This is a newly marketed coffee which has already established a brand name and continues to improve. Unlike Bugisu, Wugar is marketed in a Fair Average Quality (FAQ) form.

Drugar (Unwashed) is unwashed and originates from the Western regions of Uganda, bordering the the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is a hard Arabica, grown on the slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains (the Mountains of the Moon). The varying altitudes of cultivation (between 1,400 – 1,800 metres) give Drugar (Dry Ugandan Arabica) supremacy over other East African hard Arabicas.

ORGANIC UGANDA

Sipi Falls Organic Bugisu – The altitude of this coffee growing area lies between 1,600 and 1,900 metres, which brings a difficult terrain to traverse in the rainy seasons. Very often there are no roads, only dirt tracks which are washed away by the rains. But the resourceful Bagisu tribesmen who live on the mountain have become expert coffee farmers and have developed their own transportation methods: Donkeys. Grown in this magical setting, Sipi Falls Coffee is the only Organic Bugisu Arabica Coffee available in Uganda.

White Nile Organic Coffee (Okoro Washed Arabica) grows in Uganda’s West Nile province, an area rich in wildlife and natural beauty.  The coffee grows under the sprawling arms of the Ficus or Banyan Tree, whose bark is occasionally harvested to make the ceremonial bark cloth of the tribal kings.