There’s nothing quite like excellent African coffee. Uganda Bukonzo Owemba joins Congolese Dark for this season’s slate of coffees from the region, but there are a few things you might not know about this great medium roast. The coffee comes from the Bukonzo Joint Cooperative in the Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda - this member-owned cooperative of 5,500 small farms raises high-quality, organically grown, hand-picked coffee. It is also 83% owned by women members!
Bukonzo Joint was founded in 1999 to serve the poor, isolated farming communities in Bukonzo county, which, due to war, poverty, and location, has been marginalized in the past. The central focus of the cooperative’s operations is offering sustainable financial and capacity building services to the economically disadvantaged. Bukonzo Joint is committed to improving the living standards of the rural poor, and ensuring that they are active participants in the economic, social, and political development of Bukonzo county.Bukonzo Joint is headquartered in Kyarumba town, Kasese district. Its operations in Bukonzo county’s sub-counties of Kyarumba, Kyondo, Kisinga, Lake Katwe, Maliba and Mahango, include marketing its farmers’ organic coffee; micro-finance, such as providing agriculture and small business loans to members; and member training and skills development. In addition to its more than 5,500 farmers, Bukonzo Joint has a full-time staff of 29, over 140 part-time volunteers, and fourteen training officers.
This is our second year working with Bukonzo and we’re extremely pleased with the progress of the relationship thus far. The cooperative has been supported heavily in recent years by a celebrated development project with significant energy being put specifically into quality related investments such as milling, storage, transportation and quality assessment capacities. As a result of these investments we are seeing some extraordinary progress in consistency and tastiness of the coffee sold as “Owemba” lot – a local word for ‘something outstanding’.
The coffee is roasted medium to highlight its exceptional cleanliness and sweetness; the taste is full and balanced with ample sweetness and acidity. Flavours are in the categories of dried fruit (raisin-like), toasted nuts and rooibos-like earthy (a flavour that we find is characteristic of many coffees from that part of Africa).
Uganda Bukonzo Owemba will be available through August/September!