Cupping Notes: Hard candy, apple, grape, sweet
About This Coffee
Virunga Coffee Company was established in 2011 by Schluter SA with the vision to “Change lives in DRC through commerce in a mutually profitable way by being a major coffee actor in Kivu.”
Virunga Coffee aims to achieve this vision by improving the quality and yields for farmers in North and South Kivu, primarily through:
- Developing and implementing field-based support activities
- Introducing Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
- Investing in processing infrastructure
- Organizing assured organic production in close collaboration with over 2,300 farmers (with a further 1,500 by June 2020)
- Bringing an innovative spirit to the development of new products
As well as providing a stable supply chain and specialty market access, Virunga is actively involved in a number of sustainabilty and social programs in farming communities. These incldue an extensive tree planting program, disease prevention outreach to tackle critical diseases such as Ebola and HIV, and equipment to help farmers improve their agronomic practices.
Country of Origin: Democratic Republic of Congo
Region: Kabare, South Kivu
Farm Name: Various smallholders
Coffee Grade: Grade 3
Plant Species: Arabica
Processing: Natural/Dry Processed
Varietal: Blue Mountain
Growing Altitude: 1450-1750 MASL
History of Coffee in DR Congo
Although commercial production of green coffee did not begin in Congo in any meaningful way until the end of the nineteenth century, Robusta has been known to grow wild throughout the region for so long that 100 years ago Robusta was sometimes called “Congo coffee” regardless of where it was grown. In 1895, a well-known botanist, professor Lament, toured the country and declared it so suitable for growing coffee that it could become a “second Brazil," and Arabica plantings increased dramatically. By 1905, half a million coffee plants were under cultivation and exports reached 41 tons.
Growing Coffee in DR Congo
Traditionally a Robusta producer, in recent years, Arabica from the highland areas has begun to attract attention from specialty coffee roasters. With development commitments from large roasters and quality development assistance from coffee traders, DR Congo is now on the specialty coffee map. Washing stations have appeared in every growing region over the last five years and the country has hosted cupping events.
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