Uganda, Chigalagala Kasese
Elevation: 1500 - 2000 masl
Importer: Nordic Approached
Variety: SL-14, SL-28, SL-34
Crop year: november / december 2019
Brown Sugar, Candy, Chamomile, Funk, Tropical Fruit’s, Winey
This is one of our selected lots from Western Uganda this year. The coffee is processed at a modern and central drying station focused solely on naturals. The name, Chagalagala, is something we came up with for this as a coffee based on a flavor profile rather than tied to a specific location. We expect to be able to buy coffee with this type of profile regularly. All the farmers that contributed cherry are part of a buying program in parishes (local villages) around the Kasese area. This coffee has a very distinct and recognisable natural profile, leaning into classic natural fermentation, with mature fruit flavours and hints of lactic and boozie attributes. The coffee cherries are selected based on quality and sustainability programs with the smallholders. After reception the cherries are floated and dried on beds with continuous sorting.
All the coffees are from smallholder communities around the Kasese area in Western Uganda. Many refers to this area as the Rwenzori mountain range, which in the local language translates to "The Mountains of the Moon. The landscape is stunning. Just a few kilometers away is the Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the main game parks in Uganda.
Most of the cherries are from farms located in specific parishes (villages) at altitudes between 1500 - 2000 masl. Besides quality, our main criteria for buying is that the coffees are fully traceable, including the premiums we pay, which must go directly to the producers. Farmers are small and have about have about 600 - 1000 trees on average, each tree produces approximately 0.5 kg of greens. They work in community groups, where each community has a lead farmer with a demonstration plot where they will train 30-50 farmers in their community.
The Kasese Coffee Yard is a new private collection center and drying station for naturals. When I was there in July 2019 they had just built new facilities and opened local purchasing points for cherries, as a pilot project for increased quality and traceability. During my visit we decided to run a small pilot on a new prep and fermentation method, and we agreed to commit ourselves to buy specific volumes of coffees processed a certain way at fixed prices.