Uganda Mountain Harvest Mbale Honey
This Special Offering comes to us through the Mountain Harvest company that represents growers from multiple communities located near Mount Elgon on the border of Uganda and Kenya.
From our awesome importer:
“Mount Elgon is a massive peak split nearly in two by the border of Uganda and Kenya. The “mountain” itself, now an extinct shield volcano, is more an enormous expanse of successive plateaus that float dramatically above the surrounding valley floor. It is also home to a dense patchwork of farming communities growing some of the best organic coffee in Africa.
Mountain Harvest is a very young and big-thinking group, first established in 2017. The company is dedicated to long-term economic and environmental sustainability for smallholders on Mt. Elgon. These farmers are Uganda’s highest and most diversified coffee growers with incredible quality potential thanks to the climate, soil fertility, and a longstanding culture of land stewardship. Historically, however, farmers on the mountain have struggled to meet specialty standards by processing coffee themselves, most often in tiny amounts on homemade equipment.
In an effort to raise the economic standard in remote coffee-growing Elgon communities, Mountain Harvest began as an impact investing project underwritten by Lutheran World Relief (LWR). It has expanded in just a few years to include farmer education and training, central processing infrastructure, storage facilities throughout the region, detailed quality control, and international marketing. As of this year Mountain Harvest works with 850 individual smallholders across 8 communities on Mt. Elgon, with each farm growing between 600-1,000 coffee trees. Their coffee stands up to the best Uganda arabicas we typically taste all year.
The vast majority of coffee managed by Mountain Harvest is traditionally processed by farmers at home and delivered as parchment. This coffee, however, is a centrally processed honey crop from select communities within Mountain Harvest’s farmer network: fresh picked cherry was transported directly from select farms in sealed drums to an experimental processing site constructed by Mountain Harvest near their headquarters in Mbale, where it was immediately sorted and put out to slowly sun-dry to 10% moisture, all of which is overseen by Mountain Harvest’s processing manager, Ibra Kiganda. The final dried coffee is then conditioned for two weeks in a temperature-controlled warehouse prior to sampling for quality assessment.
Over the course of a full harvest, individual parchmen t deliveries are built into blended containers, single-community lots, and single-delivery microlots for sale. Mountain Harves’s pricing to their producers is a minimum of 10-30% above local market prices, and often involves additional premiums for quality. Unlike other regional buyers who exclusively process centrally or buy low grade humid smallholder parchment, Mountain Harvest invests in farmers’ capacity to produce high-specialty, fully-dried parchment coffee within their own resources, helping them maximize their margin when they sell.”
Vibrant aroma with notes of berries, citrus, cream, and pastry. Great full body in the cup, nuances of strawberry, blackberry, cherry, lemon, and orange along with hints of cocoa and a tropical earthiness. Lively and complex all the way through! Certified Organic.