The landscape in southwestern Uganda is dominated by the towering, glacial-capped Rwenzori mountains. The glaciers are the source of many rivers, including one of the sources of the Nile—making the Rwenzori the Mountains of the Moon that were believed in antiquity to be the Nile's source. Those rivers, along with the high altitude, fertile soil, and plenty of rainfall make for excellent conditions for growing delicious coffee.
While Uganda has historically been more of a source of robusta coffee beans, there's been a growing trend in recent years to grow the more fickle but higher quality Arabica beans in the Rwenzori range. For this particular coffee, the Arabica coffee trees grow beneath the shade of banana trees, at altitudes ranging from 3,400-6,900 feet above sea level. The beans are handpicked, then undergo a dry, "natural" processing, whereby the coffee cherries are dried for 18-20 days with the fruit of the cherry intact around the coffee "bean" seed. Natural processing can be risky—if the cherries aren't turned frequently enough, they can develop funky, fermenty flavors. But when done well, as they are with these Rwenzori beans, drying the beans with the fruit intact can give the coffee beans a notably fruity flavor.
With a medium roast, the bright, fruity flavors of the natural processing shine here, with notes of peach or nectarine. Brewing in a siphon or aeropress particularly emphasizes that brightness. The body is rich and syrupy.
Tasting Notes: Syrupy, bright, peach, nectarine
Facts: Roasted fresh by Zingerman’s Coffee Company. Shipped whole bean.