Gamatui Red honey process - Kapchorwa, Uganda

Quick Facts

Producer: Gamatui Community - processed by the Sipi Falls Washing Station. *Gamatui pronounced like: Gama- too - EE- (sounds like ratatouille)

Country: Uganda

Region: Kapchorwa - Mt. Elgon

Elevation: 1,800-2,000 masl

Varieties: SL-34, SL-14, Bourbon

Harvest: October - February

Process: Red Honey


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.

Tasting Notes

Current, Citrus, Tropical Fruit, Molasses

The red honey processing brings out bigger flavors of current and tropical fruits. In our opinion this style of honey brings the profile closer to neighboring Kenya, which in addition to the light current note that develops, this profile also has a more sweetness. With the longer time holding the cherry and the thicker drying, one would expect a slightly wild edge to the fruit, but the coffee stays crisp, juicy, and well structured.

Processing Notes

Red Honey

On advice from the team at Atlantic Specialty, Deus Nsubuga the main processing manager at the Sipi Falls washing station experimented with a Red Honey process this year. In this process the cherry is kept overnight and pulped in the morning. After pulping, with no de-mucilaging, the coffee is put on raised beds and dried slightly thicker to try and intensify the profile. In the parchment there is a clear distinction, and the mucilage is a darker red than the lighter yellow of pulping immediately and drying in thinner layers. Initial cup scores have also indicated a preference for the red honey style. The honey process coffees are dried mostly on double stacked raised beds in the retractable roof drying system structure that is perfect for times that it may rain during drying. Due to the layout of this structure - the honey is often partially dried in shade and will rotate in the structure depending on speed of the drying and and moisture content of the coffee.

New in 2018

The 2018/19 harvest was the first time Kawacom experimented with the Red Honey process, and it turned out to be very succeussful, with Kawacom taking 1st and 4th place in the AFCA taste of Harvest.

2018/19 was also the first year that Atlantic Specialty Coffee focused on sourcing coffee from the area of Gamatui.

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