upcountry Coffee–Made in Ghana

3-IMG_2076[Packaging and Brew]

Ghana has a new coffee option! This is great news because the usual suspects in coffee have been:
  1. Nescafe instant (actually, not that bad)
  2. Imported Starbucks (in someone’s luggage and hoarded)
  3. Brazilian coffee via Lebanon (terrible)
  4. Brazilian coffee via South Africa (ok, but stale)
And now a new company, Upcountry Coffee Company, has started distributing Ghana grown and fresh roasted in coffee [see their Facebook page]. 

6-IMG_2068

Available at Shoprite at the Accra Mall, Upcountry comes in half pound (250g) air pack packaging. Roasted on Sunday, September 21, 2014, bought on October 2; there was a twelve days lag time. Cost about six dollars (19 GHC).

Roast Date[roast date]

I really like the packaging and logo, it is a fun, smiling, happy coffee bean with halftone sun in the background.

Smiling Coffee Bean Logo[Smiling coffee bean logo]

So how good was it?

It was good, much better than instant or really any of the other local options.  Move over Starbucks? No, its Robusta, and sold ground. It is vastly superior to the Lebanese and Syrian Robusta coffees that often as not come with an overpowering amount of cardamom.

Worse than instant, but gets the job done.[Lebanese and Syrian Coffee – yuck]

Robusta is one of two primary varieties of commercial coffee beans grown around the world, the other is Arabica.  Arabica beans have a softer, sweeter taste than Robusta, and less caffeine. This Robusta was harsh, woody, and packed with caffeine. It gave quite a buzz. Unfortunately, the product came ground, and pre-ground coffee goes stale quickly.

coffee ground rough[ground coffee]

Final Thoughts

It wasn’t the religious coffee experience I was hoping for but I really do like that their beans are grown locally in the Volta region, and roasted in Accra.
If I could only buy the whole beans, instead of ground, I would switch and make Upcountry my primary source of local coffee.

See the nice Black Star of Ghana flag?[Made in Ghana!]

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10 thoughts on “upcountry Coffee–Made in Ghana

  1. Does this mean WHEN we come to visit I need to bring coffee? Of course if a Diet Coke is not available a visit is not happening 😄

    • While we may not have Diet Coke, we do have Coke Lite, which I guess is similar. Go ahead and pack a few pounds of Starbucks, or even better, some of the St. Philip’s Blend, or Anderson’s Coffee in Austin. Looking forward to WHEN!

  2. I empathize re coffee! Heidenheimer in Belton closed a year ago and I’ve not found any replacement! May you learn to love Upcountry until . . . P.S. Just a couple days after your praying mantis blog, on a Cracker Barrel sidewalk somewhere between Bell County and Amish Country, PA, a p.m. greeted us and assured us he had not flown in from Ghana, nor was he related to your friends! Amazing that the Lord may move you away, but will always bless us – somehow! Love to you both!

    • Did you play with it? They are great fun. Glad it made you think of us here.
      Sorry to hear about Heidenheimer closing. I drank a lot of his coffee, and it was always very good.

  3. Hello….Upcountry Coffee Managing Director here. Wish I had seen your blog post before. Just wanted to let you know that we do have whole beans. We were marketing them, but they didn’t move as quickly as we would have liked so we took them off the shelves. Also we have a small batch roaster and sometimes the roasts aren’t very even and being the perfectionist that i am, I don’t like putting out unevenly roasted beans, They just don’t look nice. We have many challenges in getting good quality coffee here, because the market is collapsed, so we have to work with individual farmers and farmer groups, pay them 25% more than everyone else and help them process correctly. It’s working to some degree, but we are too small right now to be able to implement the kind of quality improvement project that needs to be done on a large scale. We provide fresh jute sacks and plastic sheeting to the farmers and it helps. Also education and encouragement to pick and harvest properly, but we are a long way from where we would like to be.

    Our coffees do vary, by farm, by village and by lot. We tend to keep the coffees separate. We don’t mix them, as we believe that single origin is the best and we can control the quality more that way, So depending on farmer practices it can vary quite a bit. We try our best and we sort heavily before roasting.

    I hope you will be in Ghana long enough to see how we grow and what we are able to accomplish and hope you will become a fan of Speciality Robusta Coffee.

    Thank you for your honest evaluation.

    Cheers
    Dorinda Kline, Managing Director
    Upcountry Coffee Company .

  4. Could you please add your contact details Upcountry Coffee Company and your location in the volta region so that one locate you. or if you can give a direction or office location in Volta region or Accra. I will coming to the Volta Region and will like to visit you.
    Thank you.

    • Not that I know of. I did hear from Upcountry marketing director who said they had tried whole beans, but not so successful, so it was discontinued. I have not seen Upcountry for sale in several months. However I do see Trinity Coffee available at MaxMart-37. Have not tried it yet as my Christmas Starbucks is still holding out.

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