Over the past several years, Uganda has made massive strides forward in the quality and consistency of their Arabica coffees. These range from fully-washed microlots to the mild bulk types more familiar to buyers in search of value and consistency. Our Uganda “Endele” profile sits somewhere in the middle, and was born from a desire to find a consistent, natural-processed, high-quality East African coffee that shines in single origin and blend applications alike. With notes of berry and chocolate, “Endele”–meaning “placid, calm, and regal”–is the slightly more complex sibling of “Ekende”, our other, more wiley, Ugandan natural profile offering.
The coffee is picked and processed on raised beds in western Uganda near Rubiziri, and and the lion image comes from a story of a Ugandan cooperative working with a partner of ours installed a lion to guard their coffee in a large warehouse. We hope that the lion logo printed on each jute bag will similarly guard this complex coffee as it travels from the Rwenzoris in western Uganda to your door.
2023 Harvest Update
While most of our profile coffees are specifically not traceable, as we aim for a consistent flavor profile vs region, we source all our Endele through our partners at Ibero Uganda, who work closely with a small group of young enterprising Ugandans in Rubiziri, Uganda named Samuel, George, and Manzi.
We met with Manzi Junior Fancis (production manager), Kibogo George Wilkins (operations manager), and Wokadala Elly Samuel (Sourcing and Sustainability manager), who shared about their company’s history: A couple years ago they found and rented a storage facility in Rubiziri, receive pre-harvest finance from Ibero to purchase 18 large drying beds, and work with around 400 core farmers and 40 seasonal workers to source and dry arabica cherry in the area. They then send day lots to Ibero Kenya’s lab (which processes up to 4,000 coffee samples/week during high season so has the expertise and capacity to handle), along with how much volume each lot represents, and then the Ibero lab, based on cupping profile and lot volume, will suggest which lots to combine together to make a container.
Samuel, George, and Manzi are closely tied to their communities, visiting farmers in the off-season, and are able to offer farmers advance payment(commonly used to pay school fees due in January), then farmers can pay back the pre-harvest loan in cherry delivery.