UnCommon Coffee
UnCommon Coffee

Ngoma, Kenya

Ngoma means 'drum' in Kiswahili and is named after the county of origin, Bungoma – or "eng'oma" in the local Bukusu dialect. While there are different versions of Bungoma's founding story, it is widely recognised as a historical gathering place for Bukusu elders where the rhythmic beats of drums would signal the meeting venue. The community behind Ngoma coffee is associated with the Kikai Co-operative, comprising over 2300 farmer members led by an elected board of 9 members. The cooperative manages 2 wet mills, with the Ngoma lot processed at the Kutere Factory using the Kenyan washed method. The Kikai Co-operative, headed by a secretary-manager and supported by 12 permanent staff, oversees the day-to-day operations.

Located in Namwela on the southern slopes of Mount Elgon near the Kenya-Uganda border, the Kutere factory processes Ngoma coffee through a traditional approach. The co-operative members will harvest their ripe cherries and transport them to Kutere for depulping, followed by a fermentation and washing cycle in their parchment form before sun-drying on raised beds.

This tried-and-true process results in a vibrant cup with lively fruit acidity and pleasant sweetness, embodying the well-known Kenyan flavor profile appreciated by many coffee roasters and drinkers around the world.

The Bungoma community, renowned for their traditional dance, the Isukuti, has a cultural legacy deeply rooted in the region. This celebratory performance, combining dance, drumming, and singing, is a crucial element in various life stages and occasions, fostering unity among different families and communities. The passionate and energetic dance is accompanied by a set of differently sized drums, metal rattles, and an antelope horn transformed into a woodwind instrument. The profound cultural significance of the drum serves as the inspiration for the name of this coffee lot.

Ngoma coffee is a product of collaboration with Vava Coffee. In 2009, Vava Angwenyi envisioned empowering communities through coffee and founded Vava Coffee, now an established Certified B-Corp. The company blends specialty coffee production with a social enterprise model, working with dedicated producers and individuals across East Africa to provide economic and educational support. Vava Coffee acts as a direct link between producers and international coffee markets, offering sustainable livelihoods for approximately 30,000 farming families. Notably, Vava Coffee emphasizes creating opportunities for women and girls in farming communities. Since its inception in 2009, Vava Coffee has consistently gained global recognition for its premium standard in coffee quality and significant social impact.

Brew Guides

We've put together our go-to guides for the most popular brewing methods, these are by no means set in stone, nor can we promise a perfect result each and every time. What we can do however is provide you with a great foundation for a good brew, and allow for a bit of wiggle room and your own experimentation.