Indian coffee has a unique history. It is said to have begun over 400 years ago when Saint Babbudan smuggled seven beans from Yemen, making the arduous journey to Karnataka in India, and planting them in the Chandragiri Hills.

The Western Ghast, a rugged chain of mountains along the western part of India, forms the backbone of the nation’s coffee industry. The traditional growing regions of the south produce 98% of the country’s coffee crop. Chikmagular, from where this selection comes, is a part of this fertile area.

Coffee from India has more in common with Indonesian coffee than with African or Arabian. It has typical Guatemalan acidity, and is as full bodied as the finest Java. Indian coffee also has unique, subtle flavors of nutmeg, cardamom, pepper, and spice.

This coffee is a specialty coffee that represents the best quality coffee from India. The beans are very large, uniform bluish green in color with a clean, polished appearance. They roast beautifully, developing evenly with a rich even brown color. In the cup, the coffee exhibits full aroma, medium body, good acidity and fine flavor with a hint of spice.

Arabica cherries are selectively hand picked at full maturity, and expertly processed in several labor-intensive steps. These efforts result in a coffee with medium acidity and intense flavor with chocolate notes – a hallmark of Chikmagular washed Arabicas. This is indeed a true Grade A, top grade specialty coffee.


Sipi Falls, a scenic landmark in Uganda, plunges from the slopes of Mt. Elgon, a volcanic mountain in the eastern reaches of the country. This is where this month’s selection of organic Vienna roast coffee is grown, at elevations from 1,250 to 1,900 meters above sea level. Judging by its enormous base, it is easy to believe that Mt. Elgon was once the tallest mountain in Africa. The ancient volcanic slopes are cool, tempered by altitude, primary forest and refreshing streams, rivers and waterfalls.

The local people believe that God lives on Mt. Elgon, far beyond where people venture. If God is happy, they say, he brings rain. God has been happy for many years now; bountiful gardens cling to the mountainsides.

Over the years Kawacom (U) Ltd has focused on quality and innovation in a continued effort to bring the best of Uganda’s coffee to the world. Our latest introduction to this drive is a pulpery near Sipi Trading Center, where centralized wet processing of coffee cherries guarantees consistent levels of quality and crop control. Additionally, their mill is equipped with a dryer which ensures optimal drying of the parchment, as well as a state-of-the-art retractable drying roof structure unusual for this area.

This higher quality coffee attracts both high value and increased demand, resulting in an improved income for the nearly 7,000 smallholder farmers, all who have undergone training on coffee handling in the newly commissioned Farmers Training Center. The average farm size is just 1.89 hectares, or 4.67 acres.

Pioneering as the first producer to export Organic and UTZ certified coffee in Uganda, the Kawacom Sipi Falls Project continues to work with farmers and communities to ensure quality and sustainable agriculture with the recent addition of Rainforest Alliance certification to the project.

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Tracie Burket
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