Great Lakes Coffee has been sourcing coffee directly from farmers in the Rwenzori Mountain region for over 5 years. These farmers are spread throughout the mountains, with average farm sizes of 1.3 acres, or 750 trees. For the last 2 years they have worked with certain farmer groups willing to deliver ripe cherry of a high standard, which is then collected and transported to a drying station in the town of Kasese. These cherries are immediately floated to remove any insect damaged cherries, and then spread out on raised drying beds to be sorted and turned during the 14 – 18 day drying cycle.
Once the coffees have reached a moisture level of 12% in dried cherry form (locally called Kiboko, which in Swahili means 'Hippopotamus', due to the shape and colour of the dried cherry) they are moved to the warehouse to rest for 2 weeks before being transported to the GLC drymill facility in Kampala.
The Rwenzori Mountains provide exceptional terroir for high quality coffee, but the sheer remoteness, convoluted supply chain structure, and traditionally poor post-harvest processes have combined to ensure that the quality potential of these coffees is historically seldom achieved. Great Lakes Coffee has been working tirelessly over the past few years to produce in commercially viable volumes a true Specialty Natural from Western Uganda. This is it.