This is a prime example of an exotic fruity natural, some will absolutely love this cup but it will also be too much for others. The flavor diversity of this cup is astonishing to most and very tailor-able via roast level.
Uganda coffee in general are very smooth and clean African coffees, less spicy and herbal than many of their neighbors with just a pinch less acidity than Kenyans. Much more straight chocolaty notes like Central or South American coffees which makes a great platform for delivering natural processed coffees.
Tasting Notes: Crisp, clean and exotic. Medium body with medium acidity, a good rounded cup. Light to medium roasts; The first tones to hit you will be a little bit of lemony citrus that quickly fades into some lovely red fruit notes – a little reminiscent of tart cherry but has some classic stone fruit in the cup as well. The lighter tones are balanced with a nice and clean chocolaty factor without too much of that classic African herbal note. Aromatics that will make your mouth water. Dark roasts are not really recommended, turn a bit bittersweet and kill the fruit forward aspects of the cup.
Roasting Notes: Keep these beans in the light to medium roast points to see them shine. Real light roasts will be pretty high in acidity, enough to cover up a little of the fruitiness of the cup. Medium roasts are well balanced and what we thought was the best roast point. Dark roasts are not recommended. These beans do have a little higher chaff content.
Focus on specialty coffee is on the rise in Uganda thanks in large part to export operations like Kawacom, which has invested in a state-of-the-art mill near the town of Paidha in the Zombo district. This coffee growing region begins west of Lake Albert’s northern tip, one of the African Great Lakes and the source of the Albert Nile. The bulk of production comes from small family owned farms where coffee is cultivated on just a few acres of land intercropped with bananas, maize, potatoes and nuts. Kawacom has helped producers improve their harvesting strategies, emphasizing the quality premiums associated with only picking cherries that have properly ripened.
Access to a modern washing station gives producers the option to deliver cherries rather than bear the expense and risk of processing themselves. At the washing station, cherries are carefully hand sorted and floated to remove less dense coffee beans. Next the cherries are dried on raised beds for 15 to 20 days and turned regularly to ensure uniform drying. Raised beds are carefully constructed to provide proper air circulation and temperature control, for optimal drying.
Kawacom has also helped train producers on best organic practices, which includes using materials like coffee pulp to make organic fertilizers creating an abundant source of plant nutrition that ensures better yields and quality.
Uganda’s White Nile region is still unfamiliar to most coffee buyers, but Kawacom, as they did in Sipi Falls, is slowly exposing the greater specialty world to the potential of this very remote region. The naturals coming out of this part of Uganda are round and mousse-like in tactile with a slight pucker to the acids and notable grape, cranberry, and white peach flavors. It is an incredible experience to see such a prime terroir be unlocked through quality processing, where just a matter of years ago it was often lost in transit.