How is Uganda coffee changing the industry and where to buy them

    uganda coffee

    Uganda is no amateur in the coffee industry. It's one of the countries that is currently dominating the African coffee market. Uganda coffee makes up 23% of the total coffee production in Africa! No small feat, considering it's up against countries like Kenya and Ethiopia.

    Uganda might offer tourists some of the world's most beautiful sights. From its tropical climate to its exciting wildlife and breathtaking waterfalls. But, I'm more interested in its coffee! Why is the industry so successful? Why aren't I holding a cup of coffee from Uganda right now?!

    Uganda Coffee Production

    How does it Contribute to the Economy?

    Coffee production in Uganda is famous for its Robusta coffee beans. Whilst Robusta beans are often viewed as inferior, they have numerous benefits. The crop yields a greater amount of beans, and they are more resistant to disease. These factors make them much easier to grow - fantastic news for the economy!

    Robusta beans aren't the only ones you'll find growing here, though. Arabica grows in some highland areas of Uganda, as well as in the West Nile region.

    The Ugandan economy as a whole has had recent successes. Though, coffee is a huge component of this. Between 1996 and 2000, it accounted for 60% of annual export revenues. It's doing wonders for employment rates in the country, too. Around 20% of everyone that lives there earns some of their income from the industry.

    Producing Coffee in Uganda

    We already know that Uganda is skilled at producing high quantities of coffee. So just how much are we talking? In 1996/1997, the country produced as many as 4.2 million bags of coffee.

    Robusta coffee is indigenous to Uganda and is a big part of its culture and history. It grows and thrives in the rainforests there. 80% of the total coffee beans grown are Robusta. Mostly, Uganda coffee beans are processed using the sun-drying method. Lately, some attempts have been made to introduce the wet-processing method.

    robusta coffee beans

    Robusta coffee is indigenous to Uganda and is a big part of its culture and history. It grows and thrives in the rainforests there. 80% of the total coffee beans grown are Robusta. Mostly, Uganda coffee beans are processed using the sun-drying method. Lately, some attempts have been made to introduce the wet-processing method.

    Small land holders make up most of the industry. Around 500,000 farms across the country have a least some input to coffee production. No wonder they export so much of it!

    The beans grow fairly high up, often in the secure shade of banana trees. The coffee plants grow on high mountains and get their moisture from the soil. Those that live high up on the mountains know that it's impossible to drive up them during the rainy season. The roads and tracks are simply washed away. Luckily, they came up with a creative backup plan. They use donkeys as transportation instead!

    Uganda Coffee: Q&A

    Q: What problems does Uganda face?

    A: Coffee production isn't always straight forward. Countries may be affected by different things that are thrown at them. Whether these are man-made problems like war or naturally occurring issues. Uganda, along with Kenya, has to deal with their annual rainy season.

    The rainy season occurs between October and November. Sometimes, it can be so severe that the rain damages the crops. Too much rain can lead to funguses like Coffee Berry Disease. It also imposes more tasking work for the farmers.

    Q: What is the Uganda Coffee Federation?

    The Uganda Coffee Federation (UCF) is a non-profit company that's backing the Uganda coffee industry. Its mission is to see sustainable coffee production in Uganda. It supports farmers, coffee exporters, processors and more. It works to increase quantity and quality of the coffee produced in the country.

    They aim to empower small holder farms with their coffee development.

    Q: I thought Robusta beans didn't taste so good. So why are they so popular?

    Taste is always down to personal preference! A lot of people go for Robusta beans over Arabica. They have a stronger taste because they are stronger. They contain 2.2% caffeine and no sugar. For anyone that likes their coffee mighty, go for Robusta!

    Because of its strong, smooth taste, it's a popular choice in espressos. Some of the world's biggest coffee brands make their products from Robusta coffee beans. They grow at fairly high altitudes of 1500 meters, and this is great for their flavor. They are versatile, too. Some sellers use them for instant coffees and blends instead.

    tasty robusta coffee

    Where to Buy the Best Uganda Coffee

    Before you buy some of this famous coffee, let's touch on the Uganda coffee taste profile:

    • The flavor of your beans can vary depending on their region. In general, you can expect a coffee that tastes a little fruity.
    • It had a beautiful aroma that you won't be able to resist! It's woody, with a tinge of orange zest.
    • Expect a winey acidity and a smooth body.

    Well-known brands from Uganda are Wugar and Bugisu. Wugar grows on mountains that border Zaire on Uganda's western border. If you want your coffee to come from the slopes of Mount Elgon, choose Bugisu.

    If you're an advocate for organic coffee, I salute you! Uganda produces one type of organic certified coffee. It stands out from other East African coffees, with a heavy body and lower acidity. Other African coffees are better known for their citric qualities.

    coffee production in uganda

    The good news is that Uganda produces a lot of coffee! There's loads to go around. You can pick up a bag fairly easily and enjoy these fine beans. Whether you prefer Robusta or Arabica, buy your Uganda coffee beans online. All of the information will be there. Choose your preferred roast level and bean variety.

    For the best results, buy coffee beans that are roasted to order! Grind them yourself and you'll appreciate those emerging flavors even more. Enjoy your unique cup of coffee. Feel even better when you remember you're helping out those small farms!

    The Bottom Line

    Could Uganda be changing the reputation of Robusta beans for good? Those high elevations and perfect soil really do make a fine cup! Uganda coffee is versatile and it won't let you down, no matter what you need it for.

    With continued support, the industry could reach even higher highs! Coffee production doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. That tells us all we need to know. It's time to order some coffee beans from this beautiful African country.

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