Uganda

Engeya FW: Sucafina Originals

Engeya is named after the blue monkey that is unique to the Rwenzori region of Western Uganda. Gentle and Unique. Smart and Agile. Our Engeya blend promises to be the smartest blend in your portfolio.

At an 84+ cup score, Engeya combines the unique traits of East African coffees, acidity and fruity notes, while distinguishing itself with a roundness and balanced cup that’s unlike any other origin in the region. This coffee is great for filters, pour over or espresso blends.

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Details

Coffee Grade:
Scr. 15+ FW
Farm/Coop/Station:
Various small farms
Varietal:
SL14
Processing:
Fully washed
Altitude:
1,300 to 2,000 meters above sea level
Owner:
Registered farmers working with UGACOF
Subregion/Town:
Various
Region:
Western Uganda
Farm Size:
0.5 to 1 hectares on average
Area Under Coffee:
<1 hectare on average
Bag Size:
60kg GrainPro
Harvest Months:
October– February (Main crop) | April–August (Fly crop)

About This Coffee

Our Engeya blend’s unique and balanced profile evokes the diverse landscapes of the region where it’s produced. From the mighty snow-capped Rwenzori mountains to the lush savannah plains, our Engeya blend promises to be the smartest blend in your portfolio.

Engeya’s accessibility and high quality is due to our vertically integrated supply chain, which enables us to ensure consistency and quality.

Cultivation

The remarkable quality of this coffee is a direct result of high altitudes and the fertile soil of the regions in which it is grown

Coffee is usually the primary cash crop for farmers, but most also intercrop their trees alongside plantains, bananas and fruit. This intercropped produce makes up a substantial part of the family’s diet for the year.

Sucafina Uganda (UGACOF) is taking every possible measure to ensure that our operations are empowering stakeholders to produce high quality, sustainable coffees. We’ve registered 8,000+ farmer households, to whom we provide assistance in Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) trainings, certification and various other benefits.

Harvest & Post-Harvest

Farmers selectively handpick ripe cherry and deliver it to washing stations or supply chain agents near them. Cherry is carefully sorted at intake where under- and over-ripes, along with any foreign matter, are removed.  In order to offer fair prices, farmers are paid the same for their quality cherry regardless of where they bring their cherries.

Quality assurance begins as soon as farmers deliver their cherry. All cherry is floated in small buckets as a first step to check quality. Cherries are then wet processed under constant supervision. Pulping, fermentation, washing, grading through channels and a final soaking are all closely monitored.

Wet parchment is sorted and any damaged beans that remain are removed. Then, parchment is moved to raised beds where it is turned regularly to ensure even drying. Parchment is covered at the hottest part of the day and overnight to prevent cracking and/or condensation. Workers also regularly inspect drying parchment and remove any damaged beans. Table are marked with tags to ensure traceability.

After drying, parchment is delivered to our dry mill in Kampala. The mill has the capacity to mill smaller lots separately to help preserve quality and traceability.

Western Uganda

In recent years, we’ve seen that Western Uganda can produce high quality coffee that can be on par with its neighboring countries of Rwanda and Burundi. However, while Arabica coffee has been grown in Western Uganda for decades, a lack of washing station infrastructure has meant that almost of all of this coffee was home processed and sold as Drugar (Uganda Arabica).

There has been an increasing interest amongst traders and exporters to invest in washing station infrastructure and produce Fully washed coffees that are in high demand on the global market.

Sucafina Uganda (UGACOF) has been one of the pioneers identifying this opportunity and has made bold investments. Today, we own two coffee washing stations in the region and are rapidly expanding our production capacity of high-grade Arabica coffee.

UGACOF/Sucafina Uganda

Our partner, UGACOF/Sucafina Uganda is committed to improving quality in Uganda by building new washing stations and infrastructure and training personnel in the region. Collaborations with our FarmerHub program and our sustainability partner, the Kahawatu Foundation, are building upon our work to expand farmers’ access to better resources and better training. Our connections to our more established operations in nearby Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya offer us advice and a perspective steeped in a familiarity with East Africa.

The bulk of our work in Uganda is focused in the West, near the Rwenzori Mountains. The biggest difference between East (Mount Elgon) and West (Rwenzori) is that Mount Elgon is a more established and competitive market. We are excited to be at the forefront of the drive for enhancing coffee production infrastructure, developing the industry and becoming reliable partners for farmers in the Rwenzori Mountain region.

It is clear to us that the potential in this region might exceed our expectations and even the potential of the popular Mount Elgon region. With an ever-growing demand for high quality Arabicas and a sustained interest from roasters and coffee drinkers in the East African origins, we are very confident that, with diligence and effort, Western Ugandan coffees will be able to take their place alongside the other great East African coffees. ​

While the scale of work in regions like this can sometimes be overwhelming, we have a clear plan that steadily increases coffee quality.

Our first step is the one that leads to the most immediate and noticeable improvement: harvesting techniques. Due to a long history of home-processing and a lack of incentive for high quality, harvesting in the region is often semi- or entirely non-selective. Thanks to our extended network of cherry collection sites, we meet with farmers every day during the harvest season and can give real-time feedback that can impact the quality of the next day’s harvest. At the collection sites, we can insist on higher levels of care and reward meticulous picking. Though we’re still in the early years, we have seen a clear difference in quality from one year to another and even from the first week of the harvest to the last.

Future steps will include working with farmers to improve their access to materials and knowledge of better farming practices. This means making fertilizer more accessible, encouraging farmers to plant shade canopies and more. We’re planning on building demonstration plots, input access sites across the region and training a new generation of skilled washing station staff. We know it will take time, but we have a strategy and are committed to realizing this vision.

Coffee in Uganda

Uganda is the native home to one species of Robusta, and commercial coffee production in the country goes back to the beginning of the 20th century. 

Our partner, UGACOF/Sucafina Uganda is committed to improving quality in Uganda by building new washing stations and infrastructure and training personnel in the region. Collaborations with our FarmerHub program and our sustainability partner, the Kahawatu Foundation, are building upon our work to expand farmers’ access to better resources and better training. Our connections to our more established operations in nearby Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya offer us advice and a perspective steeped in a familiarity with East Africa.

The bulk of our work in Uganda is focused in the West, near the Rwenzori Mountains. The biggest difference between East (Mount Elgon) and West (Rwenzori) is that Mount Elgon is a more established and competitive market. We are excited to be at the forefront of the drive for enhancing coffee production infrastructure, developing the industry and becoming reliable partners for farmers in the Rwenzori Mountain region.

It is clear to us that the potential in this region might exceed our expectations and even the potential of the popular Mount Elgon region. With an ever-growing demand for high quality Arabicas and a sustained interest from roasters and coffee drinkers in the East African origins, we are very confident that, with diligence and effort, Western Ugandan coffees will be able to take their place alongside the other great East African coffees. ​

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