Our Uganda Bulaago coffee comes from a small village in the Buzabiti District, part of the larger Bugisu region of Uganda. Despite being one of the smaller countries in Africa, Uganda ranks second in the continent’s coffee production as well as seventh in the world.
Unfortunately, getting this fine coffee to consumers and maintaining consistent growing standard has long been difficult. That is changing, however, thanks to companies like Crop to Cup Importers.
To get our Uganda Bulaago coffee to market, Crop to Cup works with the 140-member BuCoFa farmer group, which is home to the Bulaago Coffee Project. This is an important collaborative project that helps farmers in Bulaago receive pre-crop financing, higher compensation, and additional training in exchange for taking the extra steps to produce high-scoring, specialty-grade coffee.
Crop to Cup Coffee Importers was founded to assist farmers through collaborations like the Uganda Bulaago Coffee Project. Together, they work to ensure fair compensation as well as production of better crops. This, in turn leads to better lives for the country’s numerous small-lot farmers, as well as great coffee.
On our end, Dilworth Coffee works with Crop to Cup to bring delicious Uganda Bulaago to this side of the Atlantic and share it with customers.
When you drink our Uganda Bulaago coffee, you can expect a terrific cup.
Colombia, the second largest producer of coffee in the world, is perhaps the best recognized source of specialty coffee. The town of Pitalito, which lies in the Valley of Laboyos in the Huila region, produces superior graded Supremo. The Colombia Supremo Pitalito shows off one of Colombia’s richest coffee micro-regions—its perfect blend of weather, altitude and soil producing some of the best coffee in the country.
Our new single-origin Colombia Supremo Pitalito is a blend of beans from several farms, each averaging about 6 hectares and 5,000 trees per hectares. Because the farms are so small, the coffee is blended together at the source and exported as one type. The quality control at source is outstanding. These smallholder farms are known for their commitment and dedication to the craft of growing great coffee. Beans are hand-picked at the peak of ripeness, wet processed using traditional fermentation and sun-dried on patios.
Roastmaster Brandon Riggs and Head Roaster Brad Kirby cupped six Colombian offerings this season before choosing the Pitalito Colombia Supremo. “They were all very good Colombians,” Brad Kirby said. “But the Pitalito shined through more. The entire roasting team decided pretty quickly that this would be our new single-origin Colombian.”
The Colombia Supremo Pitalito had both the flavor and the balance that the roasting team was seeking. “Of all the Colombians we cupped this season, this one was a bit more balanced,” Brandon Riggs said. “I like the fruitiness, sweetness. It is a good, solid Colombian that could stand on its own as a single origin or could work well as a blend with other varietals.”
The flavor is complex, Brandon noted. “It has a sweet, caramel flavor upfront and a dry, malty spiciness on the back end.”
The aftertaste is long and lingering, Brandon added. “The aftertaste is similar to an East African in that it stays with you. That’s a good sign of a well-processed Latin America coffee.”
Learn more about cupping protocols from the Specialty Coffee Association of America here.
Investigating New Latin America Coffees
Our new Colombia Supremo Pitalito was selected after an extensive process our roasting team is undergoing to investigate new Central and South American coffee crops from Colombia, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Stockton Graham & Co. tries to purchase coffee with the harvest cycles so that it is as fresh as possible.
But, of course, as coffee is an agricultural product, its quality and availability changes from season to season. “That’s one of the things I personally love about coffee,” said Brandon Riggs. “It’s agricultural so it is constantly changing. So we never know exactly what’s next.”
To help ensure the coffee we purchase for our customers is of the highest quality, the Stockton Graham & Co. roasting team undergoes extensive cuppings of each crop before we commit to bringing it in. “A good coffee roaster is never done researching, adjusting and refining the coffee,” Brad Kirby said. “We use regular cupping as a tool to assess the quality of the coffee, and refine the roast levels, to ensure that the roasting process is bringing out the very best that a coffee can be.”
The roasting process happens in our Raleigh, NC coffee facility where we craft roast coffee for our own Stockton Graham Coffees brand, as well as for Dilworth Coffee and for hundreds of private label customers around the nation.
For more information on our Colombia Supremo Pitalito or to order samples, please call our customer care team at 800 835 5943.
When you step off the bus onto the Nicaragua Selva Negra coffee estate, you’ve reached an amazing place.
Lush rainforest landscapes are vibrant with mums, gladioli, lilies, baby breath, daisies and roses. Cows, goats, turkey, quail and chicken roam through grassy pastures. These are the creatures that Selva Negra’s 300+ year-round workers tend, cultivating them for meat, milk, cream and eggs for the estate’s restaurant and in the workers’ kitchens. Farm-generated methane and hydro-electric power from ponds fuel lights, stoves and classrooms.
“Our goal is to be self-sufficient in everything,” Eddy Kühl, who owns and oversees the estate along with his wife Mausi, told me. “We produce green coffee for export, roasted coffee, milk, cheese, hams, vegetables, poultry and eggs. We produce methane gas for cooking and have solar heaters. Our bottleneck was the expensive, national energy power, but recently we finished building our own hydroelectric power turbine, and we are looking forward to a wind-powered energy system.”
A leader in sustainable farming since 1975, the Selva Negra Estate is recognized for producing exceptional Rainforest Alliance coffee and for its work to spread sustainable farming practices around the world through its not-for-profit Selva Negra Community Foundation. The foundation, headed by Mausi Kühl, has been working with farmers in Nicaragua to reclaim land laid to waste by toxic pesticides, deforestation and unsustainable farming practices. To date, the Selva Negra Community Foundation has made a significant impact by providing free education, resources and on-site training. Visit selvanegracommunity.org to learn more.
Stockton Graham & Co. began working with the Selva Negra community several years ago. In 2013, our roasting team spent some time on the estate, where they explored organic farming, the estate’s milling process and the vast social, medical, educational, professional and cultural services Selva Negra provides estate workers and their families. During that visit, we provided estate management with insight on the US coffee market and consumer preferences, as well as donated computers, school books and more.
As we set our sights on Earth Day 2016, which is on Friday April 22, we’re appreciating truly sustainable coffees like our Nicaragua Selva Negra. “This is truly the most sustainable coffee farm I have ever visited,” said Brandon Riggs, roastmaster for Stockton Graham Coffees and Dilworth Coffee. “The Kühl’s commitment to the land, their coffee, and their people is inspiring and serves as an excellent example of what coffee culture can be – both at origin and for the end consumer.”
Truly sustainable coffee
It is grown using time-tested pesticide-free native Nicaraguan growing methods and boasts a Rainforest Alliance certification. Because the coffee is shade grown in the Matagalpa highlands, it is also bird friendly although it does not carry the official certification. However, it has been recognized by the Specialty Coffee Association for its sustainability practices, has received a Q Auction rating and the Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality Award.
Stockton Graham & Co. directly imports the coffee through Atlanta-based JavaVino. This small, independent business is run by Eddy and Mausi’s daughter, Heddy, her husband Steve and two sons. As the name suggests, JavaVino specializes in coffee and wine; but it also runs a café that serves breakfast, sandwiches and desserts, as well as event space for meetings, weddings and parties.
The care that everyone puts into growing, processing and importing Nicaragua Selva Negra Estate Coffee shines in the taste. Right from the start, brewed coffee emits the mouth-watering aroma of honey and caramel. Drinking the coffee is just as pleasurable. The cup’s creamy body is the perfect foundation for its milk chocolate flavors. As the coffee cools in the cup, you’ll begin to taste the depth of flavors from toasted caramel to sweet berry undertones.
This fine example of Nicaraguan coffee is also featured in our Grounds for Health Blend, which raises money for vital healthcare for women who work on coffee farms in Nicaragua, Peru and Ethiopia. Created in partnership with Grounds For Health, money raised from sale of the blend will provide cervical cancer screening and treatment to 15,000 women worldwide.