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The Kua Team, 31 August 2022

New Season Coffee

Kua writes a Letter To Coffee Drinkers once a month. Topics range from daily goings on, to updates on Kua’s strategy, to recipes for coffee biscuits. The content below was the Letter To Coffee Drinkers for August 2022.

Hi coffee drinkers,

New season coffee arrived in Sydney on July 25th. We ordered 12T from our long-time partner Zukuka Bora (remember them from CameraSwap?) last November. It’s finally here! Here’s what we ordered:

Arabica, Bukhanakwa, Honey

Price / kg: $11.28
Volume: 10,020
- ‘Bukhanakwa’ refers to the buying station located high on a ridge in the Bukhanakwa region, Mount Elgon. Smallholder farmers in the area take their crop to the buying station, where it is paid for and processed. ‘Honey’ refers to the type of processing.
- We bought this same coffee last season. For Kua Blue it makes up 30-50% of the blend. For Kua Gold, 100%. It’s a super high quality coffee, with lovely sweetness.

Bukhanakwa, Anaerobic Ferment

Price / kg: $12.93
Volume: 1020
- Somewhere between kombucha and coffee. The fresh coffee cherries (with the beans inside) are left to ferment, before milling and drying.
- Same region as the honey, but radically different flavour. You may have tasted a sample of this one last season.

Bulaago, Washed

Price / kg: $10.72
Volume: 1020
- Bulaago is a super high and remote part of the Mount Elgon, 20km south of the Bukhanakwa region.
- We haven’t tasted this one yet, but it is meant to be fantastic. Our guess is clean and floral notes.

Has Kua been impacted by global supply chain and pricing woes?

Yes and no. A note from Bri:

Last year, unseasonal frost and drought struck coffee crops in Brazil. Pest outbreaks and disease from increasing temperatures have also damaged crops across Latin America, one of the world's biggest exporting regions. The effect: global coffee supply has decreased significantly (World Coffee Research, 2022).

Countries like Uganda (where Kua is grown) were less affected by erratic weather this season. This meant farmers were able to inflate their prices to meet demand. This is good for Ugandan growers in the short term, but not sustainable in the long term. The increased price has meant Kua is spending more on our coffee than ever before. This is obviously not good for our profit margins, however, our close relationship with Zukuka Bora has meant that we can work together to find a balance.

Importantly, we don’t see coffee prices going down anytime soon. Nor do we see unseasonal weather going away. That’s why tackling climate change and the effects its having on coffee production are so urgent.

We’ll keep you updated.
Happy days,

The Kua team