ABOUT THIS COFFEE
|PROCESS||Classic Natural on African beds|
|CUP PROFILE||Flavor like dried cherry & strawberry, plum, fig, milk chocolate. Acidity like red grape. Syrupy & smooth moothfeel.|
This coffee is produced at a brand new washing station, Bulambuli and the cherries come from smallholder communities. Its located in the Mbale area in Eastern Uganda, close to the Kenyan border, and our coffee grows at altitudes between 1800 – 2300 masl. Besides quality, our main criteria for buying is that the coffees are fully traceable, including the cherry price and premiums going directly to the producers
FARMING AND VARIETIES
Farmers grow a mix of varieties, predominantly SL14, 28 and 34, as they do in Kenya. The coffee comes from smallholder communities, mostly farmers working with less than 1 hectare each. On average, farmers cultivate less than 1500 trees per hectare, and one tree typically produces 100 – 200 grams of green coffee.
The farms are managed by family members and located in parishes, or communities. Each parish is the administrative centre for between seven and twelve villages. These villages can be home to as little as two hundred people. Farmers often work communally with a leader for each group of farms. Our Ugandan coffees are mostly from different parishes with the occasional lot from a communal washing station.
The main harvest goes from November to January. They will also have a small fly crop, but not always big enough for proper production.
HARVEST AND CHERRY SELECTION
The cherries are either bought at small collection centres or delivered directly to the washing station. Then, cherries are sorted and depending on the process, these will be taken either to the pulping area for washed coffees or to the yard down in Mbale for drying. Sometimes, cherries can also be delivered directly to the yard for sorting and drying.
For washed coffees they are pulped, and the parchment fermented in traditional tanks. For naturals the cherries are normally fermented on the drying tables managed by adjusting layers according to the type of prep and fermentation we want. We also experiment with cherries fermented in bags or buckets before being dried in thin layers on raised beds.
DRYING AND HAND-SORTING
For the regular preparation of washed, the cherries are dried on beds in a parabolic drying tent on raised beds at the washing station.
For naturals at the yard, it’s a mix of beds under shade and under the sun. The coffees are moved frequently and they will be covered during the hottest hours of the day to protect the cherries from intense sunlight, then again at night to protect against humidity. This creates a slow and homogenous drying process which adds to the coffee’s quality. Drying naturals with this method and in this environment takes between 15 to 20 days.
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