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About Uganda Gamatui Natural Organic
We are excited to offer our first coffee from Uganda, an organic natural processed arabica from the slopes of Mt. Elgon, in the east. Only 20% of the coffee grown in Uganda is Arabica; the majority is Robusta. Like Ethiopia and Burundi, coffee from Uganda is primarily grown on small scale family farms, and brought to a central processing center (in this case Sipi Falls Washing Station) where it is washed, milled and bagged for exporting.
This is a natural process coffee, also known as dry processing, where the skin and pulp of the coffee cherry are not removed prior to drying. This process takes a much longer time than washed processing, and varies depending on humidity, temperature and amount of sunlight. The coffee is fermented in water for 48 hours, with the water being changed every 12 hours. One final wash and the coffee goes off to be dried. Cherries are dried on African style raised beds for proper airflow all around and the coffee itself must be frequently turned. When the desired moisture content is achieved the dried cherries are milled down to the internal seed or bean. The sweet, fruity mucillage of the cherry penetrates the inner beans during this process, leaving a very noticeable fruitiness that can range from mild to extreme.
The coffee varietal is primarily SL34, named for Scott Labs in Kenya and developed in the 1930s. It was bred to withstand high altitudes, and sent to a few countries around the world in the 1950s, including Uganda. Scott Labs (where all the "SL" varietals come from) created several strains of coffee varieties, with an emphasis on higher cup quality and disease resistance.
- Community: Gamatui
- District: Mbale, Sironko and Kapchorwa
- Region: Mt. Elgon, Eastern Uganda
- Altitude: 1600-1900 Meters above sea level
- Coffee Variety: Mostly SL34, with some SL28, SL14 and other varietals
- Processing: Natural
- Harvest: November to February
Cup Characteristics: Flavors of cacao nib, plum, brown sugar and red grape, with a dry finish and delicate texture. Less fruit intensity than most naturals, with a nice finish.
Roasting Notes: Natural processed coffees tend to roast faster than their washed counterparts, and produce more chaff. Roast slowly to develop a fuller flavor profile, but pull before 2nd crack. On a Behmor P2 or P3 is a nice starting point.