Uganda – Bugisu

(10 customer reviews)


The Dark

Dark Roast – Full City +

SKU: DRK-SB Category:


“Bugisu,” around Mt. Elgon, can refer to a geographical region, a tribe, colonial politics, coffee, and even a soccer team. The title belongs to the Bugisu tribe, native to the mountain’s northwestern districts and who, during the final years of British colonialism, became entwined with agricultural politics through the formation of Uganda’s strongest coffee cooperative union. The Bugisu Cooperative Union was officially formed in 1954 after decades of struggle with British and European authority over control of the coffee on Mt. Elgon—considered Uganda’s best by far. During the first decades following formation, the union helped to mobilize and market the coffees from northwestern Mt. Elgon and was considered a strong source of unity for the Bugisu people as well as an economic empowerment engine for the greater native region. From the mid-50s to the mid-90s, as production increased, “Bugisu” became synonymous with top quality coffee from Uganda.

Since the wane of cooperative unions nationwide during the 1990s, “Bugisu” has remained a prideful mark of smallholder coffee from the western slope of Mt. Elgon. Kawacom, one of Uganda’s top exporters, invests heavily in the potential of this area and keeps the Bugisu history alive in their profiles. Kawacom has long managed a multi-pronged quality operation focused in this area, referred to as the Sipi Falls Coffee Project. The project includes a centralized wet mill that buys cherry directly from local farms (which we also carry, under the name “Sipi Falls”), as well as traceable purchasing of home-processed parchment coffee from thousands of smallholders across the Kapchorwa, Bulambuli and Kween districts on Mt. Elgon. “Bugisu” is the title given to all coffee grown and fully processed by individual smallholder farmers that Kawacom blends and mills for export.

Farmers across Mt. Elgon for years have been (and still are) accustomed to rudimentary home processing techniques. The vast majority of coffee coming off the mountain is pulped in tiny batches, often on borrowed equipment, and fermented in a bucket or a nylon bag prior to being tarp-dried on the ground, or at best on a mesh screen a few inches above the patio. With farms as small as half an acre, the complexity of building large volumes for sale is vast. Collection and milling standards need to be strict to control for inconsistencies; and contributing farms must be well-documented to maintain certifications. Kawacom invests in freshness and quality by placing buying offices across the mountain, meeting farmers in their community for convenience and accountability. In this way they are able to service traditional smallholders in the region who either prefer processing their own coffee (which often captures a better margin than selling cherry to roaming collectors), or who don’t have access to a central wet mill.


Region: Sipi, Kapchorwa District, Uganda
Altitude: 1300 – 2000 MASL
Harvest: October – February

Producers throughout northern Mt. Elgon

Bourbon: SL14, SL28, and Blue Mountain


FLAVOR Dark chocolate, earthy, rich
BODY Medium

Dark – Full City +

Organically grown

Additional information

Weight N/A
Current Coffee


Dark – Full City +

10 reviews for Uganda – Bugisu

  1. Garlen Decker (verified owner)

    Have used this variety for several months now and really enjoy. I use pour over method of brewing and it make a great cup of coffee.

  2. tom (verified owner)

    I like a darker blend and this is fantastic.

  3. Jeffrey Gotts (verified owner)

    Great for espresso

  4. bulwark (verified owner)

    Uganda – Bududa using pour over
    oooh yea, this is goood 🙂
    unlike many dark roasts, this retains complexity and has a beautiful nose

  5. Lesley Smale (verified owner)

    A wonderfully deep and multifaceted blend that I need more of in my life! I use this for pour overs

  6. Richard Murdock (verified owner)

    Yes, the Uganda is great coffee. And Jenni and Marcus are great too!

  7. bobhyman2 (verified owner)

    I made espresso out of it. It’s flavour matches your description *AND* I really like it. Thank you!

  8. Rocky Festa (verified owner)

    We enjoy dark-roast coffee and we live in South Central Indiana. We have a local roaster who we enjoy but we like to try different small roasters and after reading about the great distributor debacle we decided to check out Modest. VERY pleased with “The Dark”. The beans arrived quickly and they were beautiful and so fragrant. We use a French Press and The Dark did not disappoint. We will definitely be reordered. We also appreciate the flat-rate shipping.

  9. Aaron Fogl (verified owner)

    Excellent, masterfully roasted coffee. I brewed with a syphon pot, and as espresso. The results were beautiful.

  10. Julie Moore (verified owner)

    I selected the Uganda – Bugisu coffee because it most closely resembled the roast level of a special edition coffee Modest Coffee created for Awesome Games Done Quick – a speed-running video game marathon for charity. I loved my special AGDQ coffee and I love the Uganda – Bugisu one as well! Typically, I am not a fan of dark roasts because they taste burnt or smoky, but the Uganda – Bugisu is full-flavored and well-balanced. Also, the time it took between ordering the coffee and receiving it was quick, which is always a plus when anticipating a new coffee. I will be ordering more the next time I need a restock of my coffee cabinet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.