A new chapter
Dr Ian Clarke is well known to many in Kampala. First of all, as the founder of International Hospital Kampala, one of the leading hospitals in the capital.
He also has a political background, serving as mayor of one of the five divisions of the capital city Kampala.
Now though, he has started on a very different venture.
200 kilometres from Kampala, near the Rwenzori mountain range, Doctor Clarke has started coffee farming.
Almost all coffee farms in Uganda are small scale. Very small scale.
Clarke Coffee Estate is a very rare exception. The farm is, by Ugandan standards, a massive 1.500 acres.
Most of their coffee is wet processed, using a state of the art wet processing setup. But they also experiment with other processing methods.
On the farm, they grow Robusta coffee. But they receive Arabica coffee from 2.000 out-growers in the Rwenzori region.
The coffee we have purchased from Clarke Farm is honey processed Arabica. This is a process where after pulping, the mucilage is left to ferment on the bean for some time. This leads to an interesting, more fruity cup.
But it’s challenging. It takes a careful and dedicated farmer to get it right. Over-fermentation can lead to the coffee tasting like cheap wine.
Watch this great video where our farmer Joel Kaburu from Mt Elgon explains the process.