april 2014 coffee of the month club selections
Clubs of America | May 10, 2014
ENJOY STIRRING MOMENTS THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY WITH THESE TWO DIFFERENT COFFEES FROM SULAWESI AND UGANDA
— VIENNA ROAST —
Formally known as Celebes, Sulawesi is located in the middle of the Malay Archipelago in Indonesia. An island of intense exotic beauty with rich volcanic soil, ample rainfall, high rugged peaks and breathtaking landscapes makes it ideal for coffee cultivation. A neighbor of Sumatra, Java and Timor, Sulawesi has the similar family characteristics of all natural processed Indonesian coffee: heavy body, rich earthy flavor, and medium to light acidity.
Over 100 years ago the Dutch discovered one of the finest locations in the entire world to establish a coffee plantation. That place, high in the fertile Rante Karua Mountain Range in South Sulawesi, Indonesia became known as a “paradise” for the production of extremely good coffee beans. These coffee beans became known as Kalosi Toraja Coffee.
Then, as the result of wars and other calamities, the original Dutch plantation was abandoned. Over the decades, this and other plantations were “lost” to the jungles of Indonesia. After years of abandonment, however, the plantations were once again claimed by the Indonesian people.
The coffee today is known for its heavy body and slightly spicy flavor. The beans are jade in color and are hand-picked and sun-dried in the traditional ways. They are harvested between the months of September and January, with exportation starting in early October and lasting through January.
UGANDA BUGISU AA
— FULL CITY ROAST —
Uganda has two mountainous regions in which premium arabica is grown, ranging from 1,300 to 2,300 meters in altitude. To the east are the slopes of Mt. Elgon, whose summit shares views with bordering Kenya; and to the west in several areas in the Mountains of the Moon, along the border with Zaire. Both regions have a long tradition of producing washed arabica coffee. In the trade these are termed “WUGAR” for “Washed Uganda Arabica.”
Virtually all of Uganda’s arabica coffee is washed, in a process similar to the methods used in Latin America. Most of Uganda’s coffee is still produced by family farms on small holdings. In traditional households, women take responsibility for coffee cultivation, picking and marketing. Often coffee income makes up a majority of household cash, out of which come school fees, clothing and food budgets. Uganda has a population of 17 million people.
Nationwide, there are 500,000 coffee-growing farms, 94% of which are “smallholder” in size. Coffee earns over 60% of Uganda’s foreign exchange and involves nearly 30% of the total population. Thus, the health of Uganda’s coffee industry drives the well-being of Uganda’s families more directly than any other crop or industrial activity. They export 3.5 million bags (60 kg. each) every year.
While arabica was introduced in the early 1900’s, Robusta coffee is indigenous to the country, being a part of Uganda life for centuries. The variety of Wild Robusta Coffee still growing today in Uganda’s rain forests are thought to be some of the rarest examples of naturally-occurring coffee trees anyway in the world. The coffee trees are intercropped with traditional food crops and are grown in the shade of banana and other shade trees. Left to grow naturally, these trees flower an average of twice a year
Unfortunately, Uganda is landlocked and needs good relations with neighbors to move its coffee to a port city. Transportation bottlenecks result in containers of full steaming coffee beans stuck on trucks or docks, which has been proven to be disastrous for quality. In recent years, however, political instability and the weak infrastructure are improving, judging from the excellent quality coming from the Northern Bugisu region along the Kenyan border.
Our Uganda Bugisu AA is a specially prepared, mild flavored high grown coffee with full and complex body. It’s denser than the traditional Sumatra, but rivals it in depth.