Partner: Silver Mountain Coffee

Origin: Western Uganda

Crop: 2018
Estate: Rwenzori Estates

Altitude: 1400-1900

Humidity: 11%
Varietal: SL14 & SL28
Grade: A+

Certification: Fairtrade / Organic
Processing: Washed & Sun Dried

SCA: 84+
Tasting Notes:  Delightfull fragrance of Chocolate & Coffee Blossom, medium/high acidity with a mild body and a fruity smooth finish.

Western Ugandan Arabica - Rwenzori - Per Kg

£11.00 Regular Price
£6.50Sale Price
  • Silver Mountain Coffee are suppliers of fine specialty 100% washed Arabica coffee sourced from across the Rwenzori Mountains in Western Uganda. Also known as the 'Mountains of the Moon’, these mountain ranges are found on the western fringes of the famous East African Rift Valley straddled along the equator on the South Western tip of Uganda and stretching 120 kilometres long and 65 kilometres wide between Lakes Albert and Lake George.

    Our coffee is grown along the slopes of these mountains ranges that provide ideal growing conditions for cultivating some of the world’s best coffee. The Arabica’s grown here have been produced by close to 100,000 smallholder farmers drawn from across the length and breadth of the mountain ranges for more than a century now.

    About Us

    After years of engaging with farmers in the Rwenzori region and tasting their coffee, we decided we had to get the world to experience the fruits of their hard work and amazing coffee. This meant doing plenty of preparatory work to enable the farmers provide us with their coffee in exchange for a better price for their product. Therefore, over the years, we have worked tirelessly with the farmers and the communities in and around the mountains to get the quality of coffee we now sell to our customers around the world.

    Our mission is to improve the livelihoods of our farmers by thinking globally and acting locally and our vision is for a community that is able to use one of its most abundant resources to develop, uplift and sustain itself so that its people can develop and provide for their families.

    In recognition of their tremendous efforts, our primary focus is on continually working to obtain the highest quality specialty coffee possible from the farmers while ensuring support such as seeds, training, machinery, micro-finance and guaranteed market for their crop is always available.

    Most of the areas where the coffee is grown is considered hard to reach due to the altitude and lack of basic infrastructure such as roads. This means farmers and their families cannot easily access many basic services. To further complicate this, access to markets for their coffee is almost non-existent and many have relied on unscrupulous intermediaries. Therefore, through our work with the farmers we are working to make access to basic services possible.

    Throughout the production life cycle of our coffee, maintaining good quality is always a key factor. This can be seen for example during the labour intensive process of sorting of our coffee where mostly women make sure only the best seeds are sorted and bagged ready for market.

    Origin of Our Coffee

    In the late 1990’s farmers had to leave the land because the area was unsettled owing to armed conflict by insurgents from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). When they returned, coffee prices were at an all-time low and the only options were selling their coffee from their shamba’s (gardens) or carrying it to the local market.

    As a means of improving their lot, some progressive farmers made a decision to invest in village-level micro-washing stations with drying and storage facilities and undertook training to perfect their preparation of washed Arabica and naturally sun dried Arabica.

    The farmers who are mainly from the Bakonzo and Bamba tribes have sought to build upon this opportunity and now form part of a positive coffee co-operative movement of change in Western Uganda. They are investing in their land, in production as well as social programmes and are committed to organic coffee farming based on the four sustainability principles.

    The majority of members in the farmer owned cooperatives are women. As it is an unusual situation to have such a high participation of women as stakeholders in coffee production, this represents a tremendous opportunity for women to achieve greater equality and influence over household income.

    The Product

    Smooth, perfect coffee is not born through the roasting, but at the stage of the tender nursing of the coffee bushes by the farmer. With at least 5,000 coffee beans in every 1 kg of roasted coffee, it takes each farmer over two hours to pick these 5,000 individual coffee beans. At around 4,000 feet (~ 1,200 MASL), coffee tends to have citrus, vanilla, chocolate or nutty notes whereas at altitudes above 5,000 feet (~1,500 MASL) the coffee is usually spicy, floral, or fruity.

    The Arabica varieties grown by our farmers in the Rwenzori ranges include SL14 and SL28 with the soils being of the old tectonic type. The harvest is typically done from August to November (main season) with a fly crop between March and May. Different heights provide for different flavours and coffee grown, for instance, at around 3,000 feet (~914 MASL), will be sweet and smooth.

    The coffees distributed through Silver Mountain outlets in the United Kingdom and the United States are coffees drawn from different micro washing stations ranging from 1,300 MASL to 1900 MASL where the post-harvest process yields fully washed coffees with the use of raised drying tables with shade cover.

    Our Model

    Our goal is to achieve greater value for the farmers who are the key stakeholders. We are working to multiply (double at minimum) the farmers’ income by accentuating the quality aspect and distributing the premium that consumers are willing to pay for this coffee back along the value chain.

    Our value chain focuses on empowering the farmers to ensure quality is built in to the entire process at all points of the supply chain. Farmers are provided with training, support, micro-finance loans, machinery and a guaranteed buyer for their coffee.

    Many of the farmer groups subscribe to Fair-trade and Organic certification schemes with farmers benefiting on a pro rata basis from attractive premiums accruing from both schemes and through a grassroots network of more than sixty farmer groups.

    Silver Mountain is working to increase the number of farmers that subscribe to the four sustainability principles through these certifications and to encourage them to;

    • Join the now existent co-operative groups that can help with providing start up training and support, advice and enable access to micro-finance loans through a partnership we piloted recently.
    • Providing pulpers to the various farmers groups so they can hull their red cherry.
    • Supporting the groups to maintain their washing stations in the mountains.
    • Renovating an old processing plant to enable farmers bring their produce to us to buy so quality is always maintained.
    • Always paying farmers a fair price for their coffee.

    Silver Mountain Coffee Ltd brings these high cupping coffees with great taste sensations all the way from the mountain to you. We work with the farmers at source providing them with a fair price, ensuring quality at all stages and in turn providing you with a reliable and steady supply of great coffee. We hope you enjoy the quality of our hard work.

  • Coffee makes up 95% of Uganda’s yearly national exports, providing a livlihood for an estimated 20% of the population. Uganda is one of the world’s largeCoffee makes up 95% of Uganda’s yearly national exports, providing a livlihood for an estimated 20% of the population. Uganda is one of the world’s largest Robusta producers. Robusta is indigenous to Uganda, and the country is home to one of the world’s oldest varieties of wild growing coffee plants, found in the country’s rainforests. Most Robusta is predominantly grown in the lower-lying regions across Uganda, at an altitude of around 1200 masl – relatively high by normal standards. An extensive clonal replanting programme has been implemented in recent years. Most Robusta is sun-dried although in recent years there have been improved attempts to reintroduce wet-processing. In Uganda, smallholders intercrop their coffee trees with traditional food crops, usually utilizing shade trees such as bananas. In these self-sustaining conditions, coffee is left to grow naturally, flowering on average twice a year. Arabica was introduced to Uganda from Ethiopia around 1900, with further varietals introduced throughout the following century from neighbouring Kenya, amongst other origins. Most Arabica is processed with the use of hand pulpers but attempts are under way to upgrade processing through the introduction of eco-friendly integrated pulping systems, that simultaneously remove both pulp and mucilage whilst using only small amounts of water, making them particularly suitable for use by smallholders. Uganda also produces wet-processed Arabica, with virtually all grown by villagers on small plots. Coffees marketed as ‘Wugar’ (Washed Uganda Arabica) or ‘Drugar’ (Dry Uganda Arabica) are grown on mountains bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, along Uganda’s western border. The more demanded Bugisu is from the western slopes of Mount Elgon, and is another typically winy, fruit-toned African coffee, with elements in the flavour profile akin to a classic Kenyan coffee. Mount Elgon lies in the eastern reaches of the country, straddling the border with Kenya. Judging by its enormous base, it is thought that Mount Elgon was once the tallest mountain in Africa. The coffee shambas extend up and down the cliff faces, making use of natural water gullies and forest cover to extract moisture from the soil. The Sipi Falls are one of the great natural features of the Elgon region where some of our coffee originates, with smallholder farms based between 1,600 and 1,900 metres. It is a steep and difficult terrain to traverse in the rainy seasons – often there are no roads, only dirt tracks that get washed away by the rains.st Robusta producers. Robusta is indigenous to Uganda, and the country is home to one of the world’s oldest varieties of wild growing coffee plants, found in the country’s rainforests. Most Robusta is predominantly grown in the lower-lying regions across Uganda, at an altitude of around 1200 masl – relatively high by normal standards. An extensive clonal replanting programme has been implemented in recent years. Most Robusta is sun-dried although in recent years there have been improved attempts to reintroduce wet-processing.

    In Uganda, smallholders intercrop their coffee trees with traditional food crops, usually utilizing shade trees such as bananas. In these self-sustaining conditions, coffee is left to grow naturally, flowering on average twice a year.

    Arabica was introduced to Uganda from Ethiopia around 1900, with further varietals introduced throughout the following century from neighbouring Kenya, amongst other origins. Most Arabica is processed with the use of hand pulpers but attempts are under way to upgrade processing through the introduction of eco-friendly integrated pulping systems, that simultaneously remove both pulp and mucilage whilst using only small amounts of water, making them particularly suitable for use by smallholders.

    Uganda also produces wet-processed Arabica, with virtually all grown by villagers on small plots. Coffees marketed as ‘Wugar’ (Washed Uganda Arabica) or ‘Drugar’ (Dry Uganda Arabica) are grown on mountains bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, along Uganda’s western border. The more demanded Bugisu is from the western slopes of Mount Elgon, and is another typically winy, fruit-toned African coffee, with elements in the flavour profile akin to a classic Kenyan coffee.

    Mount Elgon lies in the eastern reaches of the country, straddling the border with Kenya. Judging by its enormous base, it is thought that Mount Elgon was once the tallest mountain in Africa. The coffee shambas extend up and down the cliff faces, making use of natural water gullies and forest cover to extract moisture from the soil. The Sipi Falls are one of the great natural features of the Elgon region where some of our coffee originates, with smallholder farms based between 1,600 and 1,900 metres. It is a steep and difficult terrain to traverse in the rainy seasons – often there are no roads, only dirt tracks that get washed away by the rains.

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