We are super excited about the coffees in Eastern Africa, as you might have guessed by taking a quick perusal of our offering list. East Africa has all the right ingredients for producing the best coffee in the world: amazing altidudes, excellent bio-diversity and soil health, top varieties, and impeccable processing techniques. With that said, there are still countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo that are only just now exporting their high quality coffee to specialty buyers around the world. Given the political turmoil that Eastern Congo has been experiencing over the last few years, it is somewhat of a miracle that we are able to offer such a fresh and vibrant coffee from this part of the world.
There is a wonderful organization and historical ally called Twin Trading based out of the United Kingdom who has been helping the small-holder farmers in eastern Congo organize as well as introducing them to specialty buyers such as ourselves. We are super grateful for the work the Richard Hyde and Twin Trading are doing to help support the farmers of Congo.
This lot was processed at the Tsheya washing station in Minova which is the only washing station that has been built in Eastern Congo for the last forty years. Sopacdi is the name of the cooperative that is overseeing this operation and there are 5600 small-holder farmers who belong to the cooperative. Sopacdi found their first buyer in 2008 and have since gained Fair Trade as well as Organic certifications.
This particular lot comes from exclusively female producers. The cooperative offers a premium to female members who bring their coffee in and are keeping this coffee separate. Farmers in the area have no running water or electricity, and coffee is their main cash crop. For years, they have had to smuggle their coffee across the Rwandan border in order to get a decent price for their coffee. With the success of their cooperative, these farmers now have a direct stake in the profits from their coffee as well as the opportunity to get to know who they are selling to. We are proud to be working with this organization.