REGION: Mususa, Butmebo, North Kivu
PROCESS: Fully-washed, Sun-dried
ALTITUDE: 1300-2100 MASL
HARVEST: September to December, March to June (fly crop)
NOTES: Apple & Blackcurrant, Treacle Toffee
Our first ever coffee from DR Congo is here, and we can't wait for you to try it.
Nestled at the border of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, the Kivu region of DR Congo is home to some stunning coffees-despite ongoing conflicts. A cooperation between coffee farmers, Farm Africa and the Virunga National Park is encouraging peace through the growing of specialty coffee.
In the cup we're getting refreshing red apple and blackcurrant acidity, with a rich treacle finish. A juicy, sweet and heart warming brew- this one's an approachable, everyday coffee. Best enjoyed as a black filter (but also suitable for any brew method you desire!). Read on for more from our importing partners, Volcafe.
Founded in 1925, Virunga National Park is the oldest national park in Africa and one of the last refuges of the mountain gorilla. It is also home to the highly endangered lowland gorillas as well as savannah elephants, chimpanzees, lions, leopards and antelopes. It has the largest bird diversity in the world. Due to its location in eastern DR Congo, the park faces many existential challenges.
For Virunga National Park, conserving its exceptional wildlife and promoting the social and economic well-being of the people of North Kivu who live around the park go hand in hand. Through the Virunga Alliance, which is supported by the provincial authorities, civil society and the private sector, the national park is investing in a number of initiatives to promote economic regeneration. This is creating employment opportunities and providing access to electricity for thousands of households.
The borders of the Virunga National Park, including the slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains and the uplands to the north-west of Lake Edward, contain some of the finest Arabica coffee growing land in the world. The climate is temperate with abundant rainfall and sun- shine, volcanic soils and altitudes of over 2,000 metres. Smallholder farmers have long grown old bourbon varieties here, but until recently post-harvest processing was very basic and the only buyers were informal traders, mainly from neighbouring Uganda.
Through the Virunga National Park coffee programme farmers are starting to realise the full potential of their coffees. The farmers are organised around small-scale coffee washing stations. They are affiliated to two vibrant young cooperatives, Kawa Kanzururu on the western flanks of the Rwenzori mountains, and Coopade on the highlands to the north west of Lake Edward.
Virunga National Park is implementing an extensive agriculture programme aimed at improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers around the park by investing in the production and marketing of their produce, including coffee. In this way, the pressure on farmers to enter the park will be reduced and farmers will benefit positively from the park’s presence.
The programme is designed to boost the livelihoods of more than 7,000 coffee farming families living on the border of Virunga National Park. The project approach is based on implementing a holistic and sustainable farming model, including crop diversification, establishing a balance between food security and cash generation. The programme includes training on good agricultural practices and the establishment of nurseries for coffee as well as other trees.
Significant investments are being made to increase the quantity and quality of the fully washed Arabica. Washing station infrastructure is being upgraded, accompanied by rigorous training in coffee processing. In 2020, cupping labs have been installed and cuppers trained. Internal control systems are being strengthened to ensure complete traceability and that the requirements for certifications are met.
To get the best from your coffee please take a look at our brew guides HERE

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