"Muungano" translates as "togetherness" in Swahili and it is this spirit of unity that is central to the mission of Muungano Cooperative and its coffee producing members. As discussed in our recent journal entry highlighting our previous offering from the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is through cooperation and perseverance that Congolese coffee producers have been able to navigate the political instability, civil war, and widespread poverty that has plagued the DRC for the past several decades.
Remarkably, Muungano's coffee producers have not only survived these tumultuous times, they have thrived, with investments in education and equipment that have led to the production of world class coffees in recent years. The old-growth coffee trees of this region (Bourbon variety, one of our favorite) offer a fantastic starting point for farmers, but also recent upgrades to early 20th Century milling equipment, along with an investment in a modern cupping lab has elevated the quality of the coffee and, in turn, the profitability for the growers. In 2017, the cooperative obtained organic certification, further increasing the premium paid to the producers.
Muungano represents around 4,400 small independent farmers, half of which are women. The cooperative has placed a heavy emphasis on gender justice, and has created a women's association that offers gender equality training and outreach.
When discussing current offerings with on of our importing partners, Atlas Coffee Importers, our rep remarked that this was her favorite coffee in their entire offer list. Having truly enjoyed our previous Congolese offering and proud to offer our support of the up-and-coming coffee industry in the DRC, we of course had to give this a try.
Sweet, bright, and complex, Muungano did not disappoint! Just as advertised, we are tasting a nice depth of sweetness with tones of vanilla, apricot, apple, spice, and brown sugar with a bright acidity and medium body. We hope you'll enjoy our latest offering from the DRC and join us in supporting the efforts of these hard working farmers!
Origin: Democratic Republic of Congo
Region: South Kivu
Producer: Muungano Cooperative
Elevation: 1480-2000 meters above sea level
Certifications: Fair Trade, Organically Grown