ZUKUKA BORA - PARTNERSHIP PROFILE

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Zukuka Bora has a very special relationship with Commonfolk. It is a social enterprise that was and continues to be funded by Commonfolk’s initiative The Cup That Counts. We contribute 20c from every coffee we sell towards the initiative and this has helped Zukuka Bora purchase demonstration farms, build processing centres, buy machinery, and provide training and employment to more than six coffee farming communities around Mt Elgon. When Commonfolk helped purchase the initial plot of land for the demonstration farm in 2014 no one could have imagined the impact that Zukuka Bora would have on the Mt Elgon community.

The first official harvest was in 2015 and yielded approximately 250kg of washed arabica coffee. The quality was below specialty [cupping scores around 77-80] and only a small group of farmers contributed. Fast forward to the 2020 harvest and Zukuka Bora anticipates over 40 tons of specialty grade arabica with cupping scores ranging from mid 80s all the way up to 88-89. It will also include the only honey processed coffees from Mt Elgon, some incredibly high quality naturals and most excitingly some experimental lots created by Commonfolk’s own roasting team.

For the past two harvest seasons our roastery team has helped run experiments involving intervention fermentations using various brewers yeasts with particular success working with the yeast used to make champagne. This year we’ve been working with natural fermentations that include local fruits such as pineapple and passionfruit mixed with the pulped coffee seeds. Can you imagine that - a coffee that tastes like pineapple and passionfruit!

Zukuka Bora is still a really young producer but they have recently acquired a large plot of land in the township of Mbale where they can build adequate storage sheds, drying beds, a processing and cupping lab, and a roastery cafe. In an exciting recent development they have been able to purchase a small farm and wet mill in Sipi using funds raised by Commonfolk and our partners. They are planning to increase their output from 2 containers [36 tons of coffee] to 5 containers over the next 1-2 years. There are more plans for future investment by expanding the three processing facilities they have already built [in Wanale, Muyanda and Sipi] and potentially purchasing land in Bududa, further demonstrating their longterm commitment to the communities they work with.

We wouldn’t be surprised if we see a World Barista Champion working with a Zukuka Bora coffee in the near future. They are committed to producing the highest quality coffee while changing the communities they work with at the same time. We’ve used Zukuka Bora coffee’s in just about every espresso blend we run from boutique custom blends through to our famous stalwarts Progress St and Godfather. We’ve also featured multiple Zukuka Bora microlots as single origins including Sipi Falls, Jose Chameleon, The Unicorn, and the newest region Zukuka is working with - Bulaago. Zukuka Bora is bringing hope back to Mt Elgon one great cup of coffee at a time.