We’re thrilled to bring you three incredible coffees this month from Kenya, Uganda, and Colombia.
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Colombia Maria Manuela

Maria Manuel is one of the smallholder producers in the Miranda Cauca Community that we were able to source from this year. She oversees about one hectare (2.47 acres) of land where she has planted Castillo trees, a variety of coffee plant which was distributed by Colombia’s National Research Center (Cenicafe) to fight the coffee leaf rust disease. Maria and her family formerly cultivated coca, which is used to produce cocaine. Pressure from FARC rebels to produce coca year after year gave Maria and her family no choice on the crop they grew. Luckily, as power dynamics in the region have changed and opportunities to grow and sell coffee without fear of violence have grown, Maria and her family have switched from growing coca to specialty coffee.

While the region is transforming, the export of specialty grade coffee is still extremely difficult and rare. If they are unable to find specialty grade purchasers and exporters, farmers must sell their product in local commodity markets for a fraction of specialty grade export prices. This year we purchased several bags from Maria at specialty grade price, giving her the means to reinvest in her beautiful land and continue improving her coffee. We are thrilled to share this coffee with you and invite you to fueling true sustainable change for Maria, her family, and others just like her.

In the cup, we taste notes of red apple and sweet brown sugar with a deep and lingering finish.

Processing – Fully Washed
Varieties – Castillo
Harvest – March-July
Farmers – Maria Manuela
Altitude – 1600 MASL
Region – Miranda, Cauca

Kenya Manjano

In specialty coffee, the process called “bulking” refers to blending together several small lots to create one larger lot. Sometimes this is done to create a specific quality level, where higher and lower qualities are blended together to create a mid-level quality blend. Sometimes this is done because the lots received are so small that they can’t be sold individually; bulking creates lots large enough for sales. In Kenya, bulking takes place across the country to make profiles representative of specific growing regions and their unique flavors. The Manjano lot is a result of bulking that’s taking place with high-quality small lots that are usually blended and sold as commercial quality coffee. The result is more payments for small producers and less great coffee wasted overall.

In the cup expect bright tones of yellow plum and white tea with a nuanced and refreshing finish.

Processing – Fully Washed
Varieties – SL-28 and 34, Batian, Ruiru 11, K7
Harvest – October-March
Farmers – Various Smallholder Farmers
Altitude – 1500-2000 MASL
Region – Various

Uganda Gamatui Community

Uganda is one of the most interesting emerging coffee origins. Not long ago most roasters in specialty coffee were not overly interested in Uganda, likely because it was overshadowed by its neighbors, Rwanda and Burundi, two other coffee-producing nations who quickly became known for exceptionally high-quality coffee. Today, Uganda is not well known for producing mircolots, or small separations of higher-quality coffees with unique profiles. Rather, most Ugandan coffee is bulked into much larger lots which are sold at low cost to massive coffee roasting companies, reflecting a pursuit of quantity over quality and profit over fair prices to farmers.

Luckily, in the last few years, we’ve seen a steady increase in the small number of microlots coming out of Uganda. This particular microlot from the Gamatui Community in Kapchorwa is fermented using a method called “honey,” where the mucilage (or honey-like layer around the beans) is left to dry on the beans, fermenting naturally over the course of around two weeks. The result is a distinctly fruited tone in the cup reminiscent of tart red currants and citrus fruits, with a deep refined sweetness akin to molasses.

In the cup, expect fruited tones of currants and citrus with a heavily sugared finish akin to molasses. 

Processing – Fully Washed
Varieties – SL28 and 34, Bourbon
Harvest – October through February
Farmer – Gamatui Community
Altitude – 1800-2000 MASL
Region – Kapchorwa, Mt. Elgon

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As always, thank you for choosing Utopian! We hope you enjoy learning more about the coffees you drink and share. If you have questions, comments, or feedback, feel free to leave them below or email to .