The eastern mountains of the Democratic Republic of Congo are ideally suited for coffee cultivation. Unfortunately the political instability and social unrest has kept this origin from meeting its full potential. In the near past, farmers had to smuggle their coffee into Rwanda as there were no resources available in the Congo. Fortunately, a few cooperatives have emerged in recent years, perhaps none more successful than SOPACDI (Solidarité Paysanne pour la Promotion des Actions Café ed Développement Intégral).
Among the achievements of SOPACDI are organic and fair trade certifications as well as the distinction of exporting the top national grade, Kivu 2. All purchases from the cooperative include a premium paid to women members, many of whose husbands died during the many conflicts that have ravaged the country. With this premium, they will reinvest in their communities through healthcare, education, and coffee quality.
With the recent completion of the Tsheya wet-mill, members now are able to deliver ripe cherry for central processing. This reduces the amount of labor that would be required for home processing and also increases the quality and consistency. A double fermentation followed by twelve hour soak and raised bed drying produces an exceptional coffee with a clean, nuanced profile.