Martin Nangoli of Kikobero coffee roasting his coffee at CURAD’s roasting facility in Kabanyolo
Ugandan Coffee brands have been recognized among the world’s best coffees at the 9th International Contest of “Coffees roasted at origin” 2023 competition held in Paris, France.
The winners of the competition were announced on Tuesday, July 18, 2023 in Paris, France.
The competition is organized by the Agency for Valorization
of Agricultural Products (AVPA) to enable producers to improve consumer perception of exceptional coffees cultivated and roasted properly by the producers.
AVPA offers an opportunity to producers (individual or organized in associations or cooperatives) who take responsibility for their roasting and roasters located in the countries of production and guarantee the traceability of their coffees, to participate in the contest “Coffees roasted at origin”.
The Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) submitted an impressive selection of 15 samples of roasted coffees from Ugandan farmers and roasters to this prestigious contest.
Nearly 200 exceptional coffees/samples spread over 25 countries from four continents took part in the competition.
Two Ugandan coffee brands won Gold medals; Gorilla Highlands from Bwindi and Sasa Coffee from Mount Elgon area.
Zicofe, Kikobero Coffee and Nucafe received Silver, while Big Gorilla, Dicana Coffee and Sipi Hills won Bronze medals.
Mugamba Organic, Nucafe, Elgon Pride, Gorilla Conservation Coffee and Masha Coffee were also recognized with Certificates of Excellence.
Uganda emerged the best in Africa as 13 of the 15 samples submitted were awarded and recognized. It was followed by Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Kenya with five, three and two samples recognized and awarded respectively.
Peru, Columbia and Uganda took the first three positions.
According to UCDA, Uganda’s remarkable coffees embody the diverse flavors and rich heritage of the country’s thriving coffee industry.
Laura Walusimbi, the Corporate Communications Manager at UCDA, congratulated all the winners of the AVPA “Coffees Roasted at Origin” competition.
“The dedication and hard work that they put into producing such exceptional coffee is commendable. UCDA is mandated to regulate, promote, and oversee the coffee industry and we pledge our full support to all stakeholders. Together, we will elevate Uganda’s outstanding coffee to global recognition,” she said.
The competition organizers say they received fantastic coffee from all over the world and that it was a hard task for jury members to do the tasting and pick the eventual winners.
The AVPA jury consists of six to twelve members. The jury members are French speaking; they are professionals in the coffee industry (producers, roasters, and distributors), chefs, gourmets and discerning consumers.
“The quality of the green coffee that has been used in the selection is really good,” a taster said, adding: “The profile, packaging and the quality has really improved. We are hopeful that the coffees that were recognized with medals get to have the recognition on the market and improve what they are already doing.”
The organizers say that for those who were not awarded, it is a chance for them to improve the quality of their coffee and the roast profile.
A coffee taster, Marilyn Kennedy, appealed to participants to “keep up the good work.”
“We need to elevate the quality of coffee all over the world and you are there to do that and we are here to taste that coffee,” she said.
Premium Prices in the offing
Richard Rugaya, the Founder of Gorilla Highlands, says the Paris event is going to help them achieve premium prices by selling coffee roasted at the origin and that it will help the company and the farmers improve their livelihood and incomes.
Martin Nangoli, the founder and Managing Director of Kikobero Coffee Company Ltd, says the win of a silver medal for Kikobero Coffee was a surprise and is a huge win for Ugandan Specialty coffee.
“Kikobero Coffee was selected and submitted for this competition. The win means a lot for our Ugandan coffee on any shelves anywhere in the world. It means our coffee is of high quality,” Nangoli said in an exclusive interview with Business Focus.
He adds that roasting coffee at the origin is key as it shows that “we are in charge of our roasting profiles.”
“If Uganda competed among 200 coffees from 25 countries and came out with such results, it means a lot in the world of coffee. It’s worth celebrating,” he said.
Asked what Kikobero does differently to ensure they produce quality coffee, Nangoli said: “We look after our farmers, our coffee, our processors and our producers. We are concerned about every detail from the garden to the cup. This is what sets us apart. This win is setting a challenge for us to look at how to compete against giants like Ethiopia.”
He applauded UCDA for objectively considering and submitting a number of coffee samples from Uganda including Kikobero coffee to showcase their products at such a global event.