Uganda Coffee Tasting, Cupping gig thrills Americans

Washington DC | RedPepper Digital – The Uganda Embassy to the US, in Washington DC, has on Thursday, held a ‘coffee cupping and tasting’ event at the Judicature courtesy of Inspire Africa Coffee and the Africa Coffee Bureau.

The gig is to influence numbers of coffee roasters, coffee importers and coffee shop businesses and diplomats in Washington, DC with curiosity about Uganda’s native Canephora Robusta coffee.

Robusta coffee is grown in the Kampala Forest area and the Lake Victoria areas whilst Arabica originates from Ethiopia.

Through the Embassy, Nelson Tugume, CEO-Inspire Africa coffee and Saleh Nakendo, CEO-Africa Coffee Bureau were the brains behind the event alongside Todd Arnett of the Education Advisory Council for the Specialty Coffee Association.

Arnett commends Uganda’s Robusta as “Uganda’s best-kept secret”.

He welcomed the partnership with the Africa Coffee Bureau, which has been at the forefront of discovering niche markets that will reinvent African Robusta competitiveness in the enormously Arabica-dominated United States.

(L to R) Nelson Tugume, Bryan Schell, Amb. Santa Kinyera, Saleh Nakendo, Todd Arnett

As a coffee guru with 25-years of experience in the coffee industry, Arnett is a Quality Assurance instructor at the American Academy of Coffee Excellence in Williamsburg, Virginia.

He has conducted various training and consulting projects in coffee consuming and producing countries worldwide including consultancies with the Uganda Coffee Development Authority.

The Africa Coffee Bureau Africa (ACB, led by Saleh Nakendo, is a company founded by a group of Ugandans in Silver Spring city, the United States with an objective to boost African coffees, cocoas, vanillas, tea and tourism by involving competitive market regions and trade negotiations that effect premium incentives and profitability in the North American retail chain structure.

Santa Mary Kinyera, Deputy Chief of Mission Ambassador, asserted that Ugandan Coffee is not only an economic but also a culture pillar.

As the main cash crop of Uganda, coffee is the most foreign exchange earner yet among the top 5 products exported to the United States from Uganda.

Kinyera commended the Embassy’s commercial mandate to ensure that Uganda products are promoted and stocked in USA stores and served in hotels and restaurants.

Nelson Tugume revealed that Coffee is good for relationships and added that he looked forward to ensuring that there are Ugandan coffee shops all over the United States.

Tugume also called up on the Uganda government to support his idea for the value chain of coffee to increase and change the lives of the farmers in Ugandan.

Robusta and Arabica in the ratio of 4:1. Arabica is grown at altitudes ranging between 1,300-2,300m above sea level; while Robusta is grown at altitudes ranging from 900-1,500m above sea level making Ugandan coffee possess very good intrinsic qualities due to high altitude, soils and farming systems not easily found elsewhere in the world.

The variety of Wild Robusta Coffee still growing today in Uganda’s rain forests is thought to be some of the rarest examples of naturally occurring coffee trees anywhere in the world.

The forthcoming Uganda Coffee-cupping and tasting gig is slated for Friday, September 10, 2021, at Uganda’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.

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