Producer: 100 Smallhold farmers
Origin: Mbata Village Rwenzori Mountains
Varietal: SL14, SL28
Altitude: 1600- 1800 metres above sea level
Flavours: Nougat, Pear & Peach
Importer: Agri Evolve
Harvest: October- February (Arrived UK November 2021)
Where is it from?
Agri Evolve Ltd is an agricultural development of Social Enterprise working with farmers in Uganda with the aim of improving yields, improving profits, and improving lives. They are helping coffee farmers to improve the quality and quantity of their coffee crop and provide a good market by paying good prices and paying promptly.
Since 2018 they have been importing the best of the coffee we produce into the UK. They supply green coffee to Coffee Roasters throughoutthe UK using the trading name Rwenzori Coffee Co. It’s a family business, with Jonny the MD heading up the team in Uganda, and Martin providing the link and supplying green coffee to Coffee Roasters in the UK. We first met Martin at Manchester Coffee Festival in 2017 and have since built up a great relationship and have been very impressed with the coffees we have been able to roast.
Agri Evolve has grown steadily over the past 4 years and now have a team of 60 full-time staff in Uganda. Field Officers and Agronomists carry out training with the farmers whilst the production team make sure everything runs smoothly at Kisinga Coffee Station. The quality team have the responsibility of monitoring and evaluating every stage of the process to ensure the highest standards are achieved. They work closely with an established Coffee Exporter, Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd who supply the investment and infrastructure to enable the business to operate, but it is the Agri Evolve team that makes everything happen on the ground.
Arabica Coffee has been grown in the Rwenzori region for as long as anyone can remember, and the conditions of high rainfall, the altitude from 1300 to over 2000 masl and volcanic soils are perfect for the production of high-quality speciality arabica coffee.
Practically all coffee is grown by smallholder farmers who have coffee trees growing in their fields alongside other crops. The typical size of a plot is between 1 and 2 acres. The main varietals are SL28 and SL14, but with a range of other older varietals. This mix of varietals contributes to the complexity of the coffee produced.
In the past, coffee from this area has not had a good reputation. Poor harvesting and processing and long delays in processing and shipping resulted in an inconsistent, unreliable and low-grade product.
Agri Evolve is committed to turning that around, and in just a few years they have seen a significant improvement. Motivating the farmers to harvest only red cherries by paying top price for the very best cherries is where it starts, and then careful processing and adhering to the highest standards means that we can offer Roasters around the world a bright, fruity and exciting coffee which regularly scores 85 and above.
Mbata is high up in the foothills of the Rwenzoris, the hub of the community sitting at 1700 m.a.s.l. and with many farmers living and growing coffee well above this height. Agri Evolve established a buying centre here for the farmers of Mbata and the surrounding communities. Farmers typically have between 1 and 2 acres of land and coffee is their main cash crop. Farmers have been trained by our Field Officers on how to improve their yields and quality by using good agricultural practices.
Ripe, red coffee cherries are harvested daily during the harvest season and taken to the buying centre. The cherries are weighed, assessed for quality and the farmers are paid in cash. From here trucks carry the cherries to one of our Coffee Stations. The cherries are floated and graded before being sun-dried in the polytunnels to protect them from rain. Our teams turn the cherries several times each day to ensure even drying whilst allowing the cherries to mature and develop their full rich flavours.
Many factors influence the quality of coffee – the altitude, soil, weather patterns, varieties, but it also the care and attention to detail shown by the farmers. Babulya Amon is one of our Promotor Farmers at Mbata. He sets the standards for others to follow and ensures the cherries are picked at full ripeness to ensure high quality and delicious coffee is produced
Filter & Espresso