Uganda RFA - Sironko Washing Station

Milk chocolate, red apple, berries, praline
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Bag Weight 60 KG BAG
Harvest Season 2021/22
Status Spot
Lot Number P610247-1
  • 164 Bag(s)
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About This Coffee

At 1250 masl, the Sironko Coffee washing station sits in a unique location to accommodate arrivals from higher altitude farms up to 1850m along the slopes of Mt Elgon. Mt Elgon is an extinct volcano on the border with Kenya and is thought to be the oldest volcano on the African continent. The massive base and gentle slopes support thousands of smallholder farmers, with arabica coffee is cultivated across a broad band around the mountain between 1,200 and 2,200masl. Volcanic soils, plentiful rain, high altitude and abundant sunshine are all contributing factors to the excellent terroir of the Mt Elgon region and the subsequent exceptional cup quality.

Selectively hand-picked cherries arrive at Sironko Washing Station where they are subjected to quality and weight tests. Automatic floatation separates the cherries by density into 3 quality grades, with the densest cherries representing the highest quality. The selected cherries are then mechanically depulped and demucilaged. Farmers are trained to decompose the discarded pulp and use as composite fertilizer, while waste water is treated on site and used for plantain crops and demo-farms in the local area. The wet parchment is then mechanically dried. A variety of drying chambers and carefully regulated temperatures help maintain the quality of the coffee throughout this process. The first chamber consists of water drainage (skin drying) and lasts approximately 7 hours. This helps to eliminate any chance of quality deterioration associated with traditional fermentation & sun-drying. It takes between 21 and 48 hours total to dry the wet parchment to recommended moisture level of 12%.

Country of Origin Uganda
Region Sironko, Mount Elgon
Producer Type Washing Station
Farm Name Various smallholders
Wet Mill Sironko Budadiri
Processing Washed
Processing Description Mechanical driers
Growing Altitude 1250m - 1850m
Harvest Season 2021/22
Bag Weight 60 KG BAG
Bag Type Grain Pro / Ecotact
Plant Species Arabica
Variety SL14, SL28, SL34, KP142, KP630, Nyasaland
Certifications Rainforest Alliance Certified (IP)

History of Coffee in Uganda

While the commercial cultivation of coffee is defined by geopolitical boundaries, the wild coffees of East Africa do not recognize borders. Indigenous Robusta once grew wild in such abundance in DR Congo that “Congo” was at one time the nickname for all Robusta, no matter where it was grown; but the moniker could just as easily have been Uganda, where Robusta is also indigenous and still grows wild in the region around Lake Victoria. Commercial cultivation began early in the 20th century and grew quickly. Only 250 bags were exported in 1909. By 1918, exports had reached 75,000 bags. Like coffee in much of post-colonial Africa, coffee production in Uganda struggled with disease, disruption, and dictatorship for the last half of the 20th century, but exports have been relatively stable in recent decades and Arabica production has increased. In 2020, coffee exports exceeded 5 million bags for the first time.


Growing Coffee in Uganda

In Uganda, most coffee is often grown under shade and intercropped with banana, beans, and peanuts in highland regions in volcanic soils. Traditionally, smallholders grow on less than 2.5 hectares, using natural processing to dry coffee cherries in very small spaces around their homes. Gradually, semi-washed processing has been introduced and some fully-washed coffees have become available recently.

  • Status Spot
  • Region Sironko, Mount Elgon
  • Farm Name Various smallholders
  • Producer Type Washing Station
  • Wet Mill Sironko Budadiri
  • Processing Washed
  • Processing Description Mechanical driers
  • Bag Type Grain Pro / Ecotact
  • Certifications Rainforest Alliance Certified (IP)
  • Plant Species Arabica
  • Variety SL14, SL28, SL34, KP142, KP630, Nyasaland
  • Coffee Grade UGA CA FW SKO SC 15+
  • Min Growing Altitude 1250m
  • Max Growing Altitude 1850m
  • Country of Origin Uganda
  • Warehouse Continental NJ
  • On Sale No
  • Top Lot No
  • CTRM Contract Number P610247-1