Our third year working in Uganda
An organic, honey lot that pushes flavor and innovation
On the border of Uganda and Kenya sits Mount Elgon, an ancient extinct volcano encompassed by a National Park. Stunningly biodiverse, the park is full of unique flora and fauna, including leopards, elephants, various forest monkeys, and over 144 bird species. For more than a decade, our importing partners have worked as a non-profit in the Mt. Elgon community of Uganda to improve the quality of life of coffee farmers. Insight from that program led to the creation of an exporting company that works alongside the farmers to create a more stable, sustainable supply chain. Mountain Harvest was established in 2017, not only as a buyer of Mt. Elgon coffee but as a partner. They strive to optimize farms, enhance quality, and pay higher, more stable prices based on a living wage model.
Mountain Harvest works with around 850 farmers in eight different communities on the slopes of Mt. Elgon. They are challenging the norms of Ugandan coffee production through a focus on specialty coffee research and development. The team has provided training to farmers on agricultural models based on biodiversity, the viability of the land and crops for supplemental income, organic fertilizers, advancing post-harvest processing techniques, and data systems that enable full transparency and traceability.
We began working with Mountain Harvest coffee in the 2018/19 season to provide feedback and market knowledge. In several years, their organization and coffee quality advanced greatly, and as a result, this is our fourth year purchasing green coffee from them. This is the first of two lots we selected from an impressive catalog of offerings. At the Sironko facility, this lot was pulped then placed on raised beds with full mucilage to dry in three stages. The resulting coffee is medium-bodied and has notes of guava, fig, and honey. Dial-in by starting with a 1:16 brew ratio, filtered water at 206-208℉, a medium grind, and a 3-3.5 minute brew cycle.