The co-operative society RAEK in the town of Katana is puzzling. A state of the art washing station, organic fertilisation and reforestation schemes, a cupping score of 87,53 in the "Saveur du Kivu" competition of 2015 - and yet only one buyer, albeit a very loyal one (Oxfam). This is partly due to the fact that East Congo is still being discovered by the specialty coffee industry, and partly because almost no one had ever heard of the specialty coffee phenomenon. Whatever the case, we are really pleased to be able to bring to you their beautiful coffee.
Cupping the coffee
Because of the co-op’s good prices and honest payment ethic, farmers are flocking to RAEK to become members. At the same time, the coop had many institutional and financial challenges these last years. They survived partly because of the energy and perseverance of its loyal manager: lifelong coffee farmer and agronomist Désiré Zagabe - and partly because of the unwavering support Oxfam. A notable achievement of the co-operative is the evolved reforestation practices that are transforming the local ecosystem.
The coffee is pulped then wet fermented for 12 hours, washed with mountain water before being shade dried. They are then sorted and inspected for defects before being sun dried on raised beds. We hope you enjoy this coffee as much as we do!
Pulping the coffee
Wet fermentation tanks
Raised drying beds