Latest Posts

  1. Papua New Guinea

    Papua New Guinea

    Papua New Guinea is often lumped in with Indonesian coffees. But it is distinct in nearly every way.

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  2. Flores


    Flores is small by island standards, just about 360 kilometers end to end. It is in the Indonesian archipelago, between Sumbawa and Timor islands.

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  3. Costa Rica

    Costa Rica

    If there is a problem with Costa Rica coffee, it's the fact that it can lack distinction; it is straightforward, clean, softly acidic, mild.

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  4. Dominican Republic

    Dominican Republic

    Good news, Sammy Sosa ...the Dominican produces more than mild cigars. It has a tradition of coffee production that dates back several centuries now.

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  5. Mexico


    Mexican coffee originates from South-central to Southern regions of the country.

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  6. Uganda


    he variety of wild Robusta coffee still growing today in Uganda's rain forests are thought to be some of the rarest examples of naturally occurring coffee trees anywhere in the world.

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  7. Nicaragua


    Nicaraguan coffees have a wide range of flavor attributes. Some cup like Mexican coffees from Oaxaca, others have a more pronounced acidity.

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  8. El Salvador

    El Salvador

    El Salvador coffee had a poor reputation for years, marred mostly by the inability to deliver coffee of high quality within an unstable social climate.

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  9. Panama


    Coffee from Panama was once overlooked and under-rated, but not any longer.

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  10. Ethiopia


    Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee: it is in the forests of the Kaffa region that Coffea Arabica grew wild.

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  11. Decaf


    Green coffee is decaffeinated before roasting. This process changes the color of the green coffee: it varies from light brown (Natural and CO-2) to green-brown (MC and Swiss Water Process -SWP- decafs).

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  12. Australia


    Okay, it is a continent and an island. But how do you classify Australian coffee?

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Kivu is the general name for East Congo (Kinshasa) and covers a very broad geographical area. It borders on Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Lake Tanganyika on the east. Kivu is divided into three provinces, Nord-Kivu (North Kivu), Sud-Kivu (South Kivu), and Maniema. Primary production includes coffee, cotton, rice, and palm oil, and tin and some gold are mined too. For coffee the quality potential is high, but the political turmoil and power struggles make actual stable business practice a huge challenge.


Politics and Power Struggles

The Ruwenzori mountains, Kahuzi-Biega National Park, and part of Maiko National Park are part of this region. Most of Kivu was controlled (1961—62) by the breakaway regime of Antoine Gizenga, which was centered at Kisangani (then Stanleyville). Kivu was a base for various rebel groups in the 1990s. Later, a revolt against the central Congolese government at Leopoldville [now Kinshasa] broke out in Kwilu and Kivu provinces.


Since then the Kivu rebels have established a Revolutionary Government of the Eastern Congo with headquarters at Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi. (Part of the Congo problem is the direct involvement and support in turmoil sponsored by neighboring governments).


The Ruzizi Valley in Kivu is controlled by the rebels who claim to be led by Patrice Lumumba (who in fact was killed in 1961!!!). With recent elections in Congo, the hope for stability and the continuation of the cease fire is possible. But this is a tumultuous political scene, with rare earth mineral, gold and diamond wealth as inspiration to the various factions. Consequently, the Kivu area is directly affected.


How Coffee is Affected

Of course, smallholder coffee farmers are the first to suffer. So in a sense the export of coffee to the US is in itself a positive sign about East Congo stability. What I hope to see next is NGOs and others move in and try to firmly re-establish the coffee trade, rebuild mills, offer education toward specialty coffee production, and install a Fair Trade pricing model.


The fact is, Congo coffee is being exported on the cheap. The price is below fair trade level - the bare minimum we like to pay, with most of our lots offered at higher-than-fair-trade prices. And even though the coffee comes from Cooperatives, it's very difficult to verify how much money actually makes it back to the farmer-members. With a little help, we hope to see this change, keeping fair and transparent business practices as a primary goal. We have encouraging prospects in the DRC, and with overall quality potential being high, there is a lot of interest.


Congo coffee offerings


Coffee origins page