Tangwen is a small community above the magnificent Sipi Falls. There is a smaller group of producers here and who established work in 2017. Lead farmers were keen to see the benefits of specialty coffee reach their remote community on the edge of Mt Elgon National Park. The smallholder farms in Sipi are well-cared for and there is a deep knowledge of coffee among the producers. Farmers from Tangwen also produce the sought-after SL28 varietal, which has been in much demand internationally.
The Zukuka Bora Coffee project was set up to support the people of Mt Elgon in many different ways. While coffee farmers are at the heart of the project, the profits from the project are used to support their partner NGO - JENGA Community Development.
JENGA have been working in the Mt Elgon area for more than 15 years, and had laid much of the groundwork to be able to build relationships with farmers and their communities. JENGA operate a range of projects - including education sponsorship,
clean water schemes, savings groups, health promotion and training, and wider farming support. It is our delight and privilege to be so closely linked to their work.
Included in the the purchase price for this coffee is a social premium dedicated exclusively to set up Village Savings and Loans groups (VSLAs) in the region. VSLAs are community-based democratic coalitions designed to empower producers to better manage their unevenly distributed incomes. Members contribute weekly to a secure communal fund managed by an elected leadership. The members can then apply for loans from the fund repayable at zero or low interest to invest in new projects such as house repairs, school fees or small business start ups. It’s a great way to empower farmers towards financial security.
The Art of Production
Ripe cherries are floated and hand sorted to select the highest quality. The selected cherries are then fermented for 60 hours in sealed tanks to create an oxygen limited environment. After fermentation the cherries are dried on raised beds for up to 30 days. The extended fermentation allows for a more drawn out drying period to develop the complexity of the final cup while avoiding negative flavours typical with over-fermentation.
Mt. Elgon is an extinct volcano in Eastern Uganda, on the border with Kenya. Due to its huge base, it is thought that the mountain was once higher than Mt. Kilimanjaro. The higher slopes and the peak (4,300 m.a.s.l.) are covered with lush forests and bamboo and protected as a national park. The mountain is home to the Bagisu people, who speak a variety of Lugisu dialects. Coffee is grown in a broad band along the mountain that stretches between 1,200 to 2,200 meters above sea level. The crop benefits from the good amounts of relief rainfall that the mountain receives and the partial volcanic soils.
The Mt Elgon region is steeped in coffee tradition but the story of quality coffee is more mixed. After independence in 1962, Uganda had a strong reputation for coffee, with strong cooperatives working across the mountain - most famously the Bugisu Cooperative Union.
Body -Med-Full / Acidity: high / SCA 85
CUPPING NOTES: Lemon, berries, milk chocolate, light caramel. Balanced and sweet.