WHY WE LOVE IT: Back for the seventh consecutive year, this year's harvest is deeply sweet and a great example of the quality coming from the Lake Kivu region.
DESCRIPTION: cocoa powder, dried fig, Italian grey black tea, red apple
REGION: South Kivu
ALTITUDE: 1,480 - 2,000m
Since 2009, the Muungano cooperative has promoted equality for their farmers and quality for their coffee. Muungano is the Swahili word for “togetherness” and the Muungano cooperative lives up to their name. Consisting of 4,400 smallholder members, nearly half of whom are women, the cooperative brings women and men from all different ethnic backgrounds together to produce delightful coffee in a country that is still relatively new to specialty coffee.
For many years, the Democratic Republic of the Congo almost exclusively produced low-quality Robusta which was often taken to neighboring countries to be processed and exported without the DRC name. This led to a cycle of large estates producing massive amounts of coffee that they could sell in bulk with no regard for quality. In recent decades, however, smallholder farmers and cooperatives like Muungano have built the DRC into a thriving origin for specialty coffee.
Like its neighbors in the Lake Kivu region, Rwanda and Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo produces rich and complex coffees known for its spice notes and deep, sweet flavors like brown sugar and molasses. This is our seventh year offering a lot from the Muungano Cooperative (and this year we even took their naturally processed coffee) and it continues to live up to and exceed our expectations, with this year’s crop featuring a cocoa and apple sweetness mixed with deeper notes of fig and black tea.