East Africa is a source of many fantastic coffees; Here we find top quality Robustas and Arabicas with unique characteristics.
Coffee Ithaka is predominantly an Ethiopia Specialist however we have branched out to neighboring coffee producing countries to expand the range of coffees that we can offer our customers, by capitalizing on our knowledge of the region.
To that effect, we offer Uganda and Rwanda coffees linking customers to very focused and dedicated coffee producers in these origins. As in many other East African countries production is nearly exclusively in the hands of smallholder farmers. As these countries are landlocked coffee is shipped from Mombasa (Kenya) or Dar s Salaam (Tanzania).
Uganda is the origin of Robusta coffee and the largest producer of Robusta Coffee in Africa, over 200,000 MT P.A. Uganda also produces Arabica coffee in the East of the country (on Mount Elgon which borders Kenya) and in the West of the country (on the border of the Congo); the split between Robusta and Arabica is around 85% and 15% respectively.
The Robusta crop is picked from May to September in the Central coffee-growing areas which coincide with the Arabica crop from the East; there is a second crop picked between November and March which coincides with the Arabica crop from the West. Uganda Robusta is prized for it’s “neutral” taste and body.
The Arabicas enrich blends by delivering on a competitive price/quality ratio. Where there are washing stations, farmers sell the fresh cherry and stations produce washed coffee, This is predominantly is the east of the country on Mount Elgan. Uganda Native Arabia comes predominantly from the west of the country.
Rwanda produces exclusively Arabica coffee. Processing methods are split between Fully Washed and Semi-Washed. Although the proportion between the 2 processing methods fluctuates substantially most of the coffee is Fully Washed. Annual Production is around 25,000 MT concentrated around the Lake Kivu area to the West of the country, although there are other producing areas in the North and South and even around the capital city of Kigali.
The crop is harvested in March to June and the first shipments are in August. Rwanda coffee delivers on acidity and mild floral and citric aromas.