Quintessentially East-African, Congo Muungano boasts crisp, orange flavors resembling kumquat met with a concentrated, date-like sweetness.
Various Smallholder Farmers
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Kiniezire, South Kivu
1500 - 2000 Meters
February - June
Kumquat, Black Tea, Date-like
Swahili for ‘togetherness,’ the Muungano cooperative in the South Lake Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo exemplifies the spirit of collaboration on which so many coffee supply chains are dependent.
Despite boasting the second-largest landmass in Africa and an abundance of natural resources (the second-largest river in the world... For starters), Congolese exports - such as coffee - have been at the mercy of years of political instability, civil war, and corruption.
Established in 2009 with a mere 350 member smallholder farmers, today the Muungano cooperative receives ripe coffee cherries from over 5,000 members farming coffee as high as 2,000 MASL. Upon delivery, cherries are sorted by way of floatation (a technique popularized in Burundi to weed-out over- and under-ripes before processing) before undergoing pulping, a 30-hour fermentation, channel washing and raised-bed drying for at least 14 days.
Potato Taste Defect: Like their neighbors Rwanda and Burundi, Congolese coffees too may occasionally fall subject to the “Potato Taste Defect” (PTD) wherein a single infected bean can augment the flavor of an entire cup of coffee (noticeable only once brewed). Such cups - boasting a distinctly earthy, potato-like flavor - are few and far between; a testament to Muungano’s commitment to eradicating the defect. Nevertheless, if you encounter a PTD-tainted cup don’t hesitate to inform your barista in exchange for a new beverage.
We believe the coffee experience is our responsibility from seed to cup. Coffee is our craft, our ritual, our passion. It drives us and inspires us. With this simple truth and responsibility we are bridging the gap from farmlevel to streetlevel. We are verve. Made in santa cruz.