The Story Behind the Coffee
Uganda Mt. Elgon
We have been buying Uganda coffee from Mountain Harvest for a number of years now. Typically, Uganda coffee farmers sell their beans in parchment, handling washing and drying on their farm, leading to inconsistent quality - a challenge for coffee buyers. To maintain tradition while enhancing quality, Mountain Harvest is completing all final drying at a central station and they have invested in a temperature controlled warehouse. This lot is sourced from 10 community zones around Mt. Elgon.
Mountain Harvest provides farmers with a suite of innovative farmer services: income diversification, financial literacy, regenerative agriculture, and quality based infrastructure modernizing their understanding of coffee production. All of these efforts are in addition to dependable access to market, helping to create a sustainable future for Uganda coffee.
Colombia El Nevado del Huila
The Coffee Quest (exporter/importer) in Colombia sources this coffee from Huila, primarily the towns of Santa Maria and Pitalito where they have buying stations located. Coffee buyers at these locations build connections with local farmers, creating access to the specialty market.
Many small lots make up this coffee and each one undergoes a meticulous selection process to ensure the target is met. Producers present a sample at the buying station where it is first cupped. If approved, the lot continues to the dry mill warehouse where it endures another round of cupping. At the warehouse, samples are meticulously picked from each sack to be sampled, this is to ensure consistency and quality throughout the entire lot. The parchment coffee remains in GainPro bags to maintain quality and reduce loss until it is time for milling and export.
Creating quality regional blends like this goes a long way in supporting the farmers. This approach goes beyond simply cherry-picking the farmers’ best lots; it finds a home for the mid-tier coffees that are good quality but not 86+ points. Harvests can vary in quality year to year, so it's important for farmers to have good homes for these lots. Taking the extra few steps to select and separate out these coffees, while rejecting anything that doesn’t meet the cuts, creates more value and a better product.
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