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Uganda Coffee – How to Roast, Brew, and Buy Ugandan Coffee Beans

Table of contents


$ 0.51 - $2.87 per ounce

  • How to serve: Served as black coffee with very few additives. Recommended to add a bit of sugar to cut the bitterness of the Robusta beans.
  • flavor: High in acidity with hints of citrus, primarily orange.
Varieties Robusta (Nganda, Erecta), Arabica (Kent, Typica, SL14, SL28, Bugisu)
How to Serve Served as black coffee with very few additives. Recommended to add a bit of sugar to cut the bitterness of the Robusta beans.
Flavor High in acidity with hints of citrus, primarily orange.
Recommended Machine A stovetop is recommended as beans usually come in instant coffee condition.
Good As Espresso, Americano
Price Range $0.51 – $2.87 per ounce
Caffeine Level 0.6% on average

Although Uganda does not have the privilege to be called the homeland of coffee, there is still a serious coffee culture here. The first-ever mentions of the mass cultivation of coffee in Uganda date back to the 1860s.

Local tribes have long been taking part in the global coffee business, each focusing on different varieties and contributing to the country’s economy. But it was not so easy to break through to solvent buyers due to the geographic location of the continental state. To put it simply, Uganda is landlocked and this limits the choice of shipping methods as air travel is not cheap. But this difficulty was overcome thanks to good relations with neighbors that have a coastline (Tanzania and Kenya), and now coffee from Uganda is safely reaching consumers without loss of quality.

Uganda grows over a dozen different varieties, but those that are exported outside of the country include:

Robusta Nganda Erecta Arabica
Typica Kent SL-14 SL-28

Robusta from this African state is not very much appreciated in the world. The culprit of such unpopularity is the bitter taste; low price compensates for this disadvantage. Robusta from Uganda is mainly bought by large companies for inclusion in a variety of blends. But local Arabica is considered a real exclusive and deserves the highest praise even from professional experts. It is customary to divide coffee from Uganda depending on the region of cultivation.


Where is Ugandan Coffee Grown?

Uganda is a great place to grow Arabica. Abundant rains, fertile volcanic soil, banana trees, which are grown next to coffee plants, provide the necessary shade, and spring water from natural sources is simply a combination of the best possible conditions.

The following regions focus on growing Arabica:

Each region has a unique flavor profile. For example, coffee from eastern Uganda is more acidic than coffee from western Uganda. The eastern plantations are higher than the western ones, which means that the climate there is colder, the temperature is high during the day and low at night. Under these conditions, coffee matures more slowly, due to which it absorbs more nutrients and gains more acidity. Let’s discuss 2 highest-yielding regions in more detail below.

Mount Elgon

Coffee beans at Mount Elgon grow at an altitude of 4300 to 6500 feet above sea level. The harvest usually takes place from September to January. Other geographical features and characteristics contribute to the acidity and taste of the beans grown here as well.

Mount Elgon is also a dormant volcano, meaning that the surrounding soil is very nutrient-rich and perfect for coffee cultivation. Furthermore, the local farmers add banana trees right next to the coffee plants, making sure the fruits get ample shade to better develop their natural flavors.


Bugisu coffee comes from the east of Uganda, from the area bordering Kenya, where Mount Elgon is located, which, judging by its huge base, was once the largest mountain in Africa.

Coffee from Bugisu has higher acidity than coffee from western Uganda and therefore costs a little more. In total, the east of Uganda produces about 15,000 tonnes of coffee every year.

Uganda Bugisu is an excellent balanced coffee with a rounded body and pleasant acidity. On the palate, there is a sweeter orange acidity, and in the aftertaste, there is more bitterness of grapefruit zest. The coffee has a strong cocoa character and dark chocolate tone. It is considered one of the best and hardest-to-get coffee beans in the world.

Top 5 Uganda Coffee Brands on Amazon

The best Ugandan coffee is sold in Uganda itself, with the local farmers. However, not everybody has the luxury of getting on a plane and flying to Kampala. Therefore, we’ve sat down and scoured Amazon to find the best Ugandan coffee brands you can order online without even leaving your house. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at our list.

How We Rated Them

We pay attention to the following:

For more detailed information on how exactly we rate the coffee products we suggest in our guides, click here.

Individual Overviews of Our Top Choices

Below you will find individual overviews of our top choices. You’ll see exactly what we liked or didn’t like about these brands, and why we’re recommending them to you.

Uganda Organic Artisan Beans

Price: $$13.99 (subject to change)

Size: 12 ounces

Type: Arabica

Roast: Medium

Producer: Split Oak Coffee Roasters

Beans: Whole

Split Oak Coffee roasters is a small, yet sophisticated coffee brand which I wholeheartedly trust. They are RFA Approved (Rainforest Alliance) and provide ethically sourced, premium quality, freshly roasted arabica coffee beans to anyone who orders them.

The company is located in Central Florida but get their beans directly from local farmers. This particular product is no exception as well. The company went directly to the Bugisu region of Uganda and brought in green, unroasted Ugandan coffee beans to feature on Amazon. They batch-roast all of their orders, meaning that when you place an order, you will receive the freshest possible product.

I tried making this particular product as an Espresso, and I have to say that it was simply amazing. I definitely wasn’t expecting the strong vanilla flavor, even though it was written on the package. Honestly, I felt like I was drinking vanilla ice cream or something. Highly recommended!

Check Price on Amazon

Uganda Bugisu Whole Bean

Price: $$14.99 (subject to change)

Size: 12 ounces

Type: Bugisu

Roast: Dark

Producer: Nuate

Beans: Whole

Nuate is a famous African coffee company that has a very nice background of supporting the communities they source their beans from and donating a large part of their profits to struggling nations.

This product tells the same story. Sourced from villages in the Bugisu region and roasted to a perfect dark level, all the profits, yes ALL of them, will be used to provide clean drinking water to developing countries.

Now, I didn’t really need much more to just click buy right then and there, but the best was still to come. Nuate, not only supports these communities but produces damn good coffee as well. I’m not a big dark-roast fan, but these beans really give you what coffee is for. A good kick in the morning to get you going.

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Uganda Bugisu AA

Price: $$40.95 (subject to change)

Size: 5 pounds

Type: Bugisu

Roast: Unroasted

Producer: Grand Parade

Beans: Whole

Even though Grand Parade is known more for its Latin American coffee beans (more specifically Brazilian and Colombian) it doesn’t mean they can’t source amazing beans from Africa as well.

These beans are directly from the Bugisu region of Uganda, which guarantees amazing quality and aroma. The beans are even rated Ugandan AA, which if you’ve seen our Kenya grading guidelines are the best quality possible.

In terms of taste, it’s the good old Bugisu flavors such as sweet cocoa and vibrant cherry, especially if you lightly roast them. A medium roast will concentrate more on the cocoa flavor, while a dark roast will give you a more bitter taste with muted undertones. The price is pretty competitive as well. Overall, highly recommended.

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Uganda Premium Arabica

Price: $$25.30 (subject to change)

Size: 2 pounds

Type: Arabica

Roast: Medium

Producer: Smokin Beans

Beans: Whole

This was a bit of a shocker for me to be honest. I’ve featured Smokin Beans many times in our guides, but I’ve never seen them feature a pre-roasted coffee before. They’re more known for their unroasted green coffee beans, and it’s why I usually buy from them, but I have to say that their new business approach pleasantly surprised me.

I wasn’t expecting the roast to be as good as other companies we’ve reviewed so far, but they proved me wrong. Much like other companies this Ugandan premium coffee is roasted to order, meaning you get only the freshest possible product.

But I don’t know how they managed to create this weird aroma of tobacco in the coffee with a medium roast. I’d expect such flavors with a dark roast, but never with a medium roast. I wasn’t that big of a fan of that particular aroma, so I switched from brewing an Espresso to brewing an Americano and the water managed to dilute the tobacco flavor away, leaving me with hints of chocolate.

If you like buying coffee in bulk, then this product may just be up your alley.

Check Price on Amazon

Certified Single Origin Ugandan Coffee


What type of coffee is grown in Uganda?