The coffee is grown by smallholder producers on the northern slopes of Mount Elgon, a massive peak, nearly its own micro range, split practically in two by the border of Uganda and Kenya. The microregion is rife with coffee and is well-served by the Sipi Falls mill, a centralized washing station with the capacity for processing cherry and drying coffee to improve the value to local farmers.
Coffee producers in the region had been home processing their coffee (and still do), thinking it was a way to add value to their crops. The Sipi Falls washing station has gone to great lengths to sit down with producers and show them the time savings and added value (and quality) by contributing their unprocessed cherry to a central mill where washing, fermenting, and drying can be performed consistently with professional oversight. They have also started an example nursery with high quality varieties and provide agronomic support to the local smallholders, many of whom are families led by women.
One of the coffee’s main features is its cleanliness, an attribute too often absent in hastily processed, discount Arabicas from the same country. It has a mild, lovely citric acidity. At lighter roasts it shows off hints of chamomile and yellow tropical fruits, with intense sweetness that starts like sugarcane, flirts with caramel, and finishes with maple syrup and chocolate mousse. It’s a crowd-pleaser, and easy to appreciate, we think.