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Congo Kivu Village

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Congo is one of the most dangerous and difficult places from which to source coffee. Equal Exchange made a lot of progress in the past two years in getting coffee out of the country, and each year the quality has been improving.  We sampled some Congo about 5 years ago and it was some of the worst coffee we've ever tasted, to the point that we still joke about a coffee being "bad, but not Congo bad!"  So it was with much skepticism that we bought some Congo beans. 

The best coffee in Congo is growing around Lake Kivu.  These are bourbon varietal beans grown at 3000-4000 feet altitude.  They are from a farmer co-op that have achieved fair trade and organic certifications for their crop.   

So it's not as good as Ugandan coffee yet, but it reminds me of Ugandan coffee 10 years ago.  They need our support and are working to keep improving their quality.  In lighter roasts, anything shy of 2nd cracks, there's a broccoli flavor that's hard to overlook.   But as a dark roast, it's entirely palatable and has unique undertones.  The importer is saying lemon-lime, sugar, and raspberry.  I have no idea how they got it to taste like that.  We have two roasts we like.  Just into the 2nd cracks (Full City+, the same way we roast our Colombia), it's sweet, full bodied, bright, tart tangerine.  30 seconds into 2nd cracks (roasted like a sumatra), it is smoky and full bodied and you taste more of the roast than of the origin, but it does have a metallic taste and nice sweetness and holds up better to the dark roast than most beans. 

Blend those two roasts together for a melenge blend and you get a mug of coffee that appeals to both dark roast fans and lighter roast fans.  

The cheap price reflects the lower quality of this up and coming origin, but they need our support, and it's a good value for the price, particularly with the certifications.

This is the March 2017 arrival.   

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Congo Kivu Village

Congo Kivu Village

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