While the summer heat has curtailed our outdoor activities and events, the Cafe Rider Roastery has been hard at work sourcing new beans and fine-tuning roasting profiles. Day in and day out, the Roastery team has been relentlessly working with suppliers with a focus on not only great tasting coffee, but also ethical and sustainable growing practices.
So, it gives us great pride to present two new origins - sourced directly from the producers in Rwanda, grown by the Koapambu Cooperative and Kiziwa Coffee's Congolese beans from the Rebuild Women’s Hope Cooperative!
Rwanda Koapambu Cooperative
A relative newcomer to the coffee industry, Rwanda has built a well-deserved reputation for producing specialty coffee. The first African nation to host a Cup of Excellence," Rwanda's coffee has finally begun receiving the recognition it deserves.
Tropic Coffee works alongside 850 coffee growers under the umbrella of The Koapambu Cooperative. The coffee is shade-grown, using the natural ecology to support and encourage growth and is part of the organic farming practices that are taught to the farmers with Tropic Coffee's help. The harvest period takes place from March to June, when the farmers are trained to harvest only the ripened coffee cherries (a process that is carried out exclusively by hand) which are taken on a daily basis to the washing station.
Numerous initiatives have been kickstarted by the Cooperative to support the community: the creation of a nursery to increase production, helping farmers to get UTZ certified, wastewater treatment for environmental protection and supporting women's groups in making handicrafts during the off season.
The D.R. Congo Rebuild Women's Hope Co-op
Kiziwa Coffee have worked tirelessly for the last couple of years to bring the little-known but high quality specialty coffee grown in the DRC to the Middle East. Amongst others, they partnered up with the Women's Coffee Cooperative "Rebuild Women's Hope" - located on the island of Idjwi in Lake Kivu where the mountainous, fertile volcanic soils provide perfect coffee growing conditions. Established in 2013, Rebuild Women's Hope is a certified organic coffee cooperative spearheaded by Marcelline Budz, dedicated to raising the profile of women within the Congolese nation and African continent as a whole. Inspired by her mother's resilience, Budz's vision in her words, was, “to place women at the center of the integral development of her community”.
Since 2013, the Cooperative’s mission has focused on producing speciality coffee while empowering women and raising the standard of living for their members. Areas of focus include interest-free loans, a nursery program, a maternal and pediatric clinic, literacy training, business skills, and income-generating activities.