Rich dark chocolate, infused with baked orange and purple grape.
With a resurgence of interest in specialty coffee within the Tangwen Farmers Group in Uganda, two older farmers, Patrick Nabukisa & Annet Namataka, came forward, particularly excited about the ‘crazy’ experiments their partners at Zukuka Bora were doing. They fermented their carefully farmed, whole ripe cherries in an anaerobic environment for 60 hours before finishing drying, similar to a natural process. The result is a great example of both the diversity of flavours available from Ugandan coffee along with the experimental spirit of its farmers. The Kabweya is a big coffee; think rich dark chocolate, threaded with baked orange and interesting purple grape.
JENGA + Zukuka Bora + Five Senses
Over the past two decades, the presence of Ugandan coffees in the Aus coffee scene has come and gone. The country has a long coffee tradition and notably claims Canephora (aka Robusta) as an indigenous coffee species. However, the quality Arabica coffee species preferred by the specialty industry has been sidelined by a lack of financial return in the Ugandan market and significant gaps in infrastructure that put a ceiling on quality. All of the ingredients are there though – volcanic soils, good rainfall and high altitudes – along with farming communities keen to use coffee as a vehicle for better lives.
After working on the ground in the Mt Elgon region since 2005, NGO JENGA Community Development saw the potential and heard the demand from the communities they worked with and so launched the Zukuka Bora Coffee Company. With coffee farmers at the heart of this project – and as joint shareholders – the team at Zukuka Bora set to, supporting them with tools, training, financing and, critically, the establishment of local mills to process the coffee. Not only does Zukuka Bora purchase ripe coffee from the farming communities surrounding these mills at a 20% premium to market rates, they also provide a bonus to farmers during ‘the hungry season’ – the middle of the season when farmers’ money is invested in the ground, waiting on new crops.
Now providing fairly-paid work for over 100 people during harvest in remote mountain areas, Zukuka Bora’s profits go on to fund Jenga’s education sponsorships, clean water schemes, health promotion and much more. These kinds of combined missions of quality coffee and impact initiatives are what Five Senses is all about and we’re thrilled to be able to showcase the results in Australia!
Get to know: Zukuka Bora Coffee
The Zukuka Bora Coffee project was set up in 2016 to support the people of Mt Elgon in many different ways. While coffee farmers are at the heart of the project, the profits from the project are used to support their partner NGO – JENGA Community Development. JENGA have been working in the Mt Elgon area for more than 15 years, and had laid much of the groundwork for Zukuka Bora to be able to build relationships with farmers and their communities.