Producer: Gamatui Community - processed by the Sipi Falls Washing Station. *Gamatui pronounced like: Gama- too - EE- (sounds like ratatouille)
Region: Kapchorwa - Mt. Elgon
Elevation: 1,800-2,000 MASL
Varieties: SL-34, SL-14, Bourbon
Harvest: November - February
Gamatui is a community located in eastern Uganda on the slopes on Mount Elgon. This area is famous for the many beautiful Sipi Waterfalls, which a few are located close to the Gamatui community. This area is also one of the highest elevation coffee producing areas coffee in the country, and the producers here are recognized as some of the most quality dedicated as well. This coffee is processed by Atlantic Specialty's sister company, Kawacom, at their Sipi Falls washing station that is located just a few kilometers from Gamatui.
Uganda has not been well known for its high quality coffees, but selections from Kawacom the last few years have been changing that history. With a meticulous focus on processing and drying, these coffees not only taste spectacular as pre-shipment samples, but are some some of the most shelf stable and consistent arrivals we see.
Kawacom started in Uganda in 1999, buying parchment and selling mostly Bugisu semi-washed (farmer processed coffee). In 2012, Kawacom completed the build-out of the Sipi Falls washing station on Mount Elgon. Recently, Kawacom has expanded in the region of Kasese in the west of Uganda on the Rwenzori Mountains with their Maliba project. Kawacom also expanded in the Northwest of Uganda with their White Nile project which started in 2017 as washed coffee, but in 2018 offered both washed and natural.
Kawacom started focusing on community specific microlot selections in 2015, and have since taken 1st place in AFCA Taste of Harvest in Uganda for their natural, washed, and honey processed coffees on multiple occasions. To produce their top lots, the Sipi Falls washing station selects specific days when they know they can talk and work with the community to get better cherry selection.
Stone Fruit, Mild Citrus, Almond
Coffees from the Sipi Falls / Kapchorwa area are known and sought after for their quality throughout Uganda. These coffees are also known for how versatile their flavor profile can be, when done right. The profile is said to be a cross between coffees from Latin american and Africa. Up front the acidity is rounded but citric, and the flavor goes from stone fruits- to spice -to light sweetness and nut. The profile is thought to be remarkably easy to work with, as it very balanced and has little bit of everything.
The coffee is pulped, de-mucilaged, and soaked overnight in clean water for about 8-12 hours. After being de-mucilaged and soaked, the coffee goes to the Centriflux machine that spins the coffee to remove surface moisture. After which the coffee is put out on patios and tarps to skin-dried for a few hours. After skin drying, the coffee goes into a mechanical drier. The first 18-24 hours the temp is set at 45C. Then the drier is turned off for 12-18 hours, where the moisture of the coffee is allowed to come to a better equilibrium throughout the seed. After, the drier is re-started at 35 C and the coffee is dried till it reaches 10.5%. After drying the parchment coffee is stored in grainpro.
While mechanical driers and Ugandan coffee in general are known not to hold up well, this coffee defies that history. With exceptional pristine arrivals year-in and year out, this methodical process has been proven to create Ugandan coffee with unmatched shelf stability.
New in 2020
Kawacom in early 2019 finished their new dry mill. The dry mill is very large with tons of capacity- but also has dedicated line for their specialty coffees. All coffees for 2020 went through the new space.
While the cherry ripening and development was delayed by unseasonable rains in 2020, quality was been quite high, with some coffees showing a little more citric acidity.