Today we are happy to announce the launch of our first coffee from Rwanda!
This new certified fair-trade organic coffee comes directly from the Rwanda COOPAC Cooperative located on beautiful Lake Kivu. The cup is pleasingly bright, rich and smooth with deeps notes of chocolate, caramel and tree tomato, accented by citric acidity and floral (rose) aroma.
You can find and order the coffee in our store here.
Fully washed and sun dried on raised screens at the cooperative’s Kabrizi Washing Station – the only certified organic coffee production facility in Rwanda. This facility marks a significant milestone for the Rwandan coffee industry.
The Rwandan coffee industry has had a long and sometimes tumultuous history. The industry was founded in the 1930s when the Belgian empire forced Rwandan farmers to grow coffee. Since famers couldn’t afford the tools and infrastructure to make quality coffee, the price of coffee remained low. Then in 1994, the Rwandan genocide led to the collapse of coffee prices which nearly destroyed the industry. Finally, in 2001 the Rwanda COOPAC cooperative was founded with the mission to revive the Rwandan coffee industry through investment in new infrastructure and educational outreach programs. These efforts led to an increase in coffee’s price, allowing more farmers to make the critical investments needed to grow quality coffee.
Today, COOPAC is a cooperative with 2,200 members that hosts a multitude of social and environmental sustainability initiatives. The cooperative provides member farmers with shade tree saplings (we really like this one) and agroforestry education, with ongoing assistance provided to community based nutrition, education, health-care and infrastructure programs, all made possibly by increasing fair trade prices.