We are blown away by the quality coming from Uganda this season. With twin challenges of the global Covid-19 pandemic and climate change, we were expecting a drop in quality from Uganda this harvest. Instead they have improved quality and consistency across the board. 

Uganda is a relatively new origin for us. Morten began establishing projects in 2018 with a focus on the naturals and special preps. These processes give our offers a lot of diversity, and Uganda offers the potential to do good consistent naturals on a scale and quality comparable to Ethiopia.

We have been working with producers to conduct experiments and set up larger scale special prep projects, using our knowledge of other African origins, and we’ve been super happy with the results so far, especially how consistently these producers can create different profiles to a high standard. 

These new projects have awakened a thirst for funk and ferment in our team. Everyone clamours to attend the next (safely conducted) cupping of Ugandans to see what weird funky stuff is gonna hit their face this time around.

2020 | 2021 harvest update

December, Kingha Estate: Cherry being sorted before processing

It was quite an odd season for production everywhere in the world and Uganda was no different. In addition to challenges with the Covid-19 pandemic and related restrictions, the weather pattern around the time of harvesting was unexpected, which has caused a lot of problems and delays of about two months. 

Generally you’d expect the main crop in the west starting to grow June to August, ripening in September and harvested in October to November. A smaller fly crop begins in January, ripening and starting harvesting in February throughout April.

This year the usual pattern of main crop / fly crop has been turned on its head. The main crop this season was very small. In November Kingha Estate would usually receive about 5000-7000kgs of cherry a day, but last year they were only receiving around 50-100kgs. We are expecting a bigger harvest during the fly crop which is wrapping up now.

December, Kingha Estate: Dried parchment at the Kingha Estate loaded on a truck heading to Kampala.

In addition to difficult weather patterns, pandemic restrictions meant that Kingsley Griffin of Kingha Estate and his team were not able to visit the farmers during the harvest.

With all these challenges in a single year, I was expecting a possible drop in quality. Fortunately  the years the producers have spent educating their farmers, and the close relationships on the ground, have kept the quality very consistent.

In fact we’ve seen crazy good cup profiles across the board, and even though it’s a small harvest on this first container, I’m super excited about the result. We have lots of experimental coffees with a big range of flavour profiles. This has made me even more excited for the coming months!

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