Congo Gorilla Roast December 31 2015

Gorilla Roast of Congo 

At Desert Sun Coffee, we take pride in representing the farmers who grow our coffee on farms all over the world. We consider ourselves to be stewards to their hard work and feel a responsibility to bring out the best in each batch that we roast. With that in mind, we're excited to re-introduce our Single Origin coffee, Gorilla Roast of Congo. 

Desert Sun's head roaster, Wade Wilderman, has been roasting test batches for the last two weeks on our small Probat Roaster. After tasting six separate sample roasts, we're confident that we've brought out the best in this Congolese coffee. It has a very clean flavor with additional notes of citrus/orange juice, floral, black tea, and chocolate. Expect a body that is heavy and creamy with lingering aftertastes of toffee and chocolate.

 

The SOPACDI grower's co-op is helping to steadily revive the reputation of the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo as a region that can produce outstanding washed Arabica coffees. For decades, there had been no markets for the farmers’ coffee due to civil war and regional instability. Many had no option but to take the dangerous smuggling route across Lake Kivu, bartering their coffee for food and everyday essentials. Others were even forced to flee their land entirely to escape the violent civil war.

SOPACDI is comprised of farmers from varying ethnic groups – they speak Kirundi, Kihavu or Kinyarwanda – yet they are united in their vision to improve the lives of their families and communities through the specialty coffee trade. Many SOPACDI coffee farmers are widows, their husbands drowned smuggling coffee across Lake Kivu. SOPACDI pays a price-premium for "Women’s Coffee" to its female members, which helps them to overcome all of the tragedy and hardship they have endured.

Nine years ago, a small group of farmers came together, inspired by the newly formed specialty coffee co-operatives in Rwanda and talked about doing the same. In 2008, they found their first specialty coffee buyer and since then the momentum has been building. Today, SOPACDI has over 3,200 farmer members and they have recently achieved Fairtrade and organic certification. The Muungano and Furaha co-operatives are now gathering strength as well, their members heartened by the success of SOPACDI.