Rwenzori Mountains (front)
  • Rwenzori Mountains (front)
  • Rwenzori Mountains (rear)
  • Rwenzori Mountains

Rwenzori Mountains - Uganda

250 gr


Cup Notes

Blackberry / Raisins / Cherry / Dark Chocolate

Suggested for espresso and filter


when we roast

We freshly roast to order all coffees on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (excluding national holidays), and ship the same day! Cut-off time is 6:00pm (UTC+1) of the day before the roast day.

Technical detail

Several small farmers
1300 - 1550 mt
Classic Natural
SL14 & SL28
Picked in
July 2018
Landed in
April 2019
Lot Size
2400 kg
Roast profile by
Rubens Gardelli
Roasted on
Customised roaster


From Greek and Roman times, stories have been told of the mythical Mountains of the Moon as the source of the river Nile. For a long time they eluded European explorers, who failed to find them due to them being shrouded in the clouds. 
Today the majestic mountain range is known as Rwenzori and it stretches along the border between Uganda and DR Congo, with the highest peak, Mt Margherita at 5.109 MASL with its permanent glaciers almost perfectly at the line of the Equator.
Great Lakes Coffee has been sourcing coffee directly from farmers in the Rwenzori Mountain region for over 5 years. 
For the last 2 years they have worked with certain farmer groups willing to deliver ripe cherry of a high standard, which is then collected and transported to a drying station in the town of Kasese. These cherries are immediately floated to remove any insect damaged cherries, and then spread out on raised drying beds to be sorted and turned during the 14 – 18 day drying cycle. 
Once the coffees have reached a moisture level of 12% in dried cherry form (locally called Kiboko, which in Swahili means 'Hippopotamus', due to the shape and colour of the dried cherry) they are moved to the warehouse to rest for 2 weeks before being transported to the GLC drymill facility in Kampala. 
While Uganda is one of the countries where robusta coffee originated, today it is gaining increasing recognition for the quality of its arabicas. Actually it is the next frontier for specialty coffee in East Africa. While the geography is perfect, this is an unlikely place to find specialty coffee, especially a natural.
Rwenzori Mountains (story)


SL14 was originally selected in Kenya the late 1930s at the Scott Agricultural Laboratories. Individual tree selections made at the Scott Laboratories in Kenya during the 1935-1939 period were prefixed “SL.” SL14 was selected in 1936 from a single tree labeled Drought Resistant II (D.R. II), and drought tolerance is a noted characteristic of SL14. Historical records documenting the origin of D.R. II were lost, but the seedlings were established at Kabete in 1933, and then widely distributed in areas east of the Rift Valley in Kenya. Recent genetic tests have confirmed that SL14 is related to the Typica genetic group. It is economically important in both Kenya and Uganda.

SL28 was bred by Scott Laboratories in 1931 from Tanganyika D.R, and has become very popular throughout Kenya and is recognised as a variety of exceptional cup quality. It has wide leaves with coppery tips. Beans are wide and productivity comparatively low. Though it is not substantiated that we can find, some sources claim that Scott Labs crossed mutations of French Mission, Mocha and Yemen Typica to produce the SL 28 variety. No matter the exact genetic composition, almost certainly their original goal was to create a plant with high quality, reasonable productivity and great drought resistance.

SL14 & SL28 (Variety)


Dry process seems simple: pick the fruit, lay it out in the sun until it turns from red to brown to near-back, and then hull off off the thick, dried outer layer in one step to reveal the green bean. It is a method suited to arid regions, where the sun and heat can dry the seed inside the intact fruit skin.
It's often referred to as "natural coffee" because of its simplicity, and because the fruit remains intact and undisturbed, a bit like drying grapes into raisins. Since it requires minimal investment, the dry process method is a default to create cheap commodity-grade coffee in areas that have the right climate capable of drying the fruit and seed. 
But it’s a fail in humid or wet regions. If the drying isn't progressing fast enough, the fruit degrades, rots or molds. 

Dry-processed coffees can also be wildly inconsistent. If you want a cleanly-fruited, sweet, intense cup, dry process (DP) takes more hand labor than the wet process. Even the most careful pickers will take green unripe or semi-ripe coffee off the branch as they pick red, ripe cherry. If these are not removed in the first days of drying, the green turns to brown that is hard to distinguish from the ripe fruit.

Fermentation (natural)