La Marzocco USA
1553 NW Ballard Way, Seattle, WA, 98199
August 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM
To the east of Kenya and north of both Rwanda and Tanzania is Uganda, a coffee origin that you don’t commonly see on the shelves of your local cafe. When we think of East African coffees, our minds tend to focus on places like Ethiopia, and other more popular regions. However, La Marzocco USA is excited about the work our friends at Atlas Coffee Importers are doing to bring coffee from Uganda to our attention.
On August 22, we will host Atlas and some of their partners from Uganda. Speaking at the event will be Katherine Nolte of the NGO Twin. As their website mentions, Twin is a “pioneer and leader of the fair trade movement, working to build better lives for the poorest and more marginalized in the trading chain.”
Along with Katherine, we will also hear from Pascasie, one of the women who works for the Bukonzo Joint Cooperative in Uganda. Pascasie and Bukonzo are part of a program that focuses on the inclusion and participation of women within coffee communities. You can read more about this great project in Uganda here.
We will also be cupping and tasting eight different coffees from Uganda. The cupping will be led by Atlas’ cupping lab team, Drew Billups and Gavin Tull-Esterbrook. Cupping with Drew and Gavin is always a treat as it is guaranteed to be both delicious and very informative.
The presentation will start at 10 AM, sharp. Please RSVP for this event here.
Bukonzo Joint Cooperative’s Story
In the spring of 2011, we received a sample from Bukonzo Joint and found a lot of unrealized potential in the coffee quality. At the time they were just in the process of applying for Fair Trade and Organic certification and producing only natural (drugar) and farmer washed coffee. We continued to correspond with the group for several months and eventually were able to partner with Twin to help manage our first purchases in early 2012. The quality was lower than we had hoped but we saw a tremendous amount of dedication and responsiveness in this group that inspired us to continue our efforts. We purchased coffee again in 2013 and saw a big improvement as the central washing stations started to come on line, but still had some problems with sorting and milling. Again, the group was eager to hear how they could improve and acting on our feedback, our 2014 arrivals have been by far the best Ugandan coffees we have seen.
We are hoping to participate in their ongoing mission to bring more of the quality control and processing in-house by building out a larger warehouse/mill and on-site cupping lab.
Below: Atlas on a visit to Uganda