We recently started cupping a new crop of our Uganda Bulaago at our Raleigh roasting facilities, and boy, were we delighted. As we brewed it in a V60, we expected the deep, fresh aroma of apricots and raisins to permeate our senses and make our Taste Kitchen smell like fresh-baked cinnamon bread. And still this new crop tickled our senses with something new: the zesty citrus aroma of candied lemon peel.
Being a major fan of The Barefoot Contessa’s Lemon Yogurt Cake, or any dessert made with fresh lemon for that matter, we couldn’t wait to take our first sip. We weren’t disappointed. Candied lemon flavors danced delicately on deeper flavors of raisin and apricot. While the essence of stone fruit caressed the flat of our tongue like silk, the sweet zest of lemon teased our tongue’s edges, creating a contrast of flavors that was both unusual and compelling.
We savored the sip for a moment, enjoying the way the coffee’s tangy acidity played with its deep fruit flavors. It immediately occurred to us that this Uganda Bulaago would make the perfect after-dinner drink. It reminded us of a well-aged port from the Duoro region of Portugal—a red wine fortified slightly with brandy, giving it a bit more sweetness and body on the tongue. That dreamy red wine flavor seemed to evolve further moments after we swallowed, and we were left with a lightly pleasant aftertaste of maple syrup.
Indeed, our ideal after-dinner coffee was the complete package. It was easy to see why the Bugisu region of Uganda and the Bulaago farms specifically grow the most sought-after washed Arabica coffee. In fact, those who know Ugandan coffee well know that Bulaago’s farmers known as the BuCoFa Farmer Group produce some of the best coffee in Uganda, as their coffees grown high on the slopes of Mount Elgon surprisingly exude the earthiness that is typical of the Indonesian coffees over the traditional flavors we know and love in African coffees.
AROMA: Apricot – Candied Lemon
FLAVOR: Raisin – Apricot – Candied Lemon
ACIDITY: Tangy – Medium High
AFTERTASTE: Red Wine – Maple Syrup
Bulaago: A Secret Gem
Every sip of the Uganda Bulaago reminds us that this is a gem of a bean that few are privileged to enjoy. Although the BuCoFa farmers are never short of a reliable market, this is a high-quality, small lot offering that doesn’t get much attention outside the few roasters who are truly dedicated to exceptional coffees.
“To me, the Uganda Bulaago is a secret gem that I’m proud to share with our customers,” said roastmaster Brandon Riggs. “Not only do I love the flavor of this coffee, but I wholeheartedly support the work of the BuCoFa Farmer Group and our importer Crop to Cup to promote fair compensation, housing, medical care, education and high agricultural standards that are practiced on the BuCoFa farms. Together, we are helping to ensure good human and farming practices in the Bugisu region and beyond.”
The BuCoFa Farmer Group is part of The Bulaago Project, a system through which Bulaago farmers receive higher compensation and support from Crop to Cup and local agricultural partners. This support allows them to take extra steps to produce top-lot, high scoring specialty grade coffee. Stockton Graham & Co. supports them through educational initiatives that help the local farmers understand the U.S. coffee market so they can continue to grow, harvest and process product that is in high demand year after year.
“It’s neat that Crop to Cup takes our cupping notes to the BuCoFa and uses them to teach the farmers how we evaluate their product in the U.S. marketplace,” Brandon said.
For more information on our coffees or to sample our new crop of Uganda Bulaago, please contact us at 800 835 5943.