When most people think of major coffee producing countries, they don’t think of Uganda. However, coffee makes up nearly 30% of Uganda’s annual foreign trade earnings. The country actually is one of the birthplaces of Robusta coffee but has become a major producer of quality Arabicas.
Bugisu coffee from eastern Uganda is grown around Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano on the border of Kenya, and processed using the wet method. In the west, farms in the Rwenzori mountains grow and process their beans using the dry method, creating what was historically called DRUGAR, short for dried Uganda Arabica.
Robusta is still grown in the country’s central lowlands.
While much of Uganda’s coffee production yields low-grade commercial beans, small lot farmers have been recognizing their country’s advantageous coffee-growing geography and making a push to up their quality. The flavor profile varies depending on whether you try eastern washed coffee or DRUGAR, but Ugandan coffee has a smooth mouthfeel with hints of stonefruit and berries, like many African coffees.