Brewing a deeper love for coffee

Spotlight on Uganda’s coffee enthusiasts

As coffee becomes ubiquitous globally, Uganda is no exception. It has long been a key export crop, and as “coffee culture” spreads locally, the economy benefits. The higher domestic demand encourages direct local participation in this industry.

I’ve always been fascinated by coffee brewing methods. This September I sponsored four people to join me on a 3-hour interactive workshop for coffee enthusiasts at Great Lakes Coffee in Kampala, Uganda. Together we learned about the history of coffee, processing, storage, roast profiles, and manual brewing techniques.

This workshop was an opportunity for us all to learn and exchange coffee experiences. Two participants were young coffee growers, and it was interesting listening to them explain the hurdles they face along the supply chain, from growing coffee to packaging for export.

Our facilitator Gail Mawocha is a passionate barista and barista training consultant. An Arabica Q Grader with extensive Robusta experience, Gail consults for coffee businesses and teaches Coffee Experience classes to corporates and individuals. She is also the founder of Mustard Seed Africa (an organisation that partners with women in rural areas on income generation projects). Gail says:

“With catalysts like Barbara Barungi who are not only keen to learn about coffee but to sponsor four others, the future looks bright for Ugandan coffee. And as a result we now have 6 more Coffee Ambassadors of Ugandan coffee who can confidently spread the word about our great coffee legacy; Africa’s biggest exporter, home of the finest robustas in the world, third best global taste 2020, one stop shop for excellent Arabicas and Robustas and the world’s 8th biggest coffee producer. My zeal is to encourage Africans to tap into the potential that coffee presents: value add, networking, businesses and increased domestic consumption. Each class I teach helps me achieve this goal.” 

Class facilitator Gail Mawocha talks to us about brewing techniques.

We had a lovely time getting to know each other and sharing our love of coffee. Here’s what two participants had to say:

“Like many other Ugandans, coffee has always been a huge part of my life. My earliest memories are of helping my parents tend their small coffee garden in the rural village of Kishabya, Sheema district in the western part of Uganda. My parents raised my school fees and for my siblings all through coffee farming and trading. The coffee training session was really good and I got to learn more about the history of coffee. I also learnt more types of brewing coffee as opposed to the traditional ways and currently I’m sharing the knowledge I got with my coffee outgrowers. Big thanks to Barbara Barungi for the opportunity.”

Frandan Tumukunde

“I LOVED my coffee experience class at Great Lakes Roastery!! My experience with coffee (from history, farming all the to the brewing and taste) went through a serious revival! I have a deeper appreciation and love for coffee.”

Terry Obel
Learning from the best, from left to right: Facilitator Gail Mawocha, Frendan Tumukunde, Terry Obel, myself (Barbara Barungi), Arthur Paineto and Angello Obel.

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Each participant at the Great Lakes Coffee Appreciation Class received a certificate.

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