U

  • Uganda – While Arabica was introduced at the beginning of the 1900’s, Robusta coffee is indigenous to the country, and has been a part of Ugandan life for centuries. The variety of Wild Robusta Coffee still growing today in Uganda’s rain forests are thought to be some of the rarest examples of naturally occurring coffee trees anywhere in the world. The coffee trees are intercropped with traditional food crops and grown in the shade of banana trees and other shade trees. In these self-sustaining conditions, coffee is left to grow naturally, flowering on average twice a year. Uganda has the unfortunate circumstance of being landlocked, and needing good relations with its neighbors to move its coffee crop to a port city. Transportation bottlenecks can result in containers of full of steaming coffee beans stuck on the back of a truck or a dock somewhere …not good for quality!
  • Umami – Umami is a Japanese word meaning savory, a “deliciousness” factor deriving specifically from detection of the natural amino acid, glutamic acid, or glutamates common in meats, cheese, broth, stock, and other protein-heavy foods. The action of umami receptors explains why foods treated with monosodium glutamate (MSG) often taste “heartier”. In coffee, savory relates to specific brothy, food-like character and can conflict with other basic flavors such as sweet, but is not undesirable. It can be found in Indonesia coffees, but has appeared favorably in Colombias we have stocked as well.
  • Unclean – A general negative description of dirty or hard flavors in a coffee that should have none. These are flavors without positive qualities, that distract from the cup. Also simply called “off”
  • Under-developed – Under-developed refers to roast problems, usually too-light roasts. If a coffee is not roasted until the reactions responsible for the audible First Crack are completed, there will be astringent and un-sweet flavors (high trigonelline levels) and a grainy roast taste.
  • USDA – USDA is an Indonesian cultivar of Ethiopian heritage that was part of varietal tests in the 1950’s.