D.R. Congo Virunga Cascara (AtSource+)

Tamarind, dry cider, rooibos, lemon
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Bag Weight 20 KG BAG
Status Spot
Lot Number P8001552-1
  • 21 Bag(s)
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About This Coffee

This organic, dry-pulped cascara is produced by Virunga Coffee Company. Setup by Schluter (now Covoya Europe) in 2012, Virunga's mission has been to produce high quality coffees for the specialty market and increase premiums for the thousands of smallholder farmers in the region. The strategy for Virunga has been three-fold: 1) To increase production through good agronomic practice 2) to improve quality through education and strict guidelines for production and processing 3) to obtain internationally recognised certification in order to generate better revenue for farmers.

Virunga have now trained over 8,000 farmers in GAP (Good agricultural practices) and have partnered them in organic certification. They have 35 field officers (trained agronomists) working in the region and distribute over 3 million seedlings a year to farmers in Eastern DRC.

Virunga Coffee is the first company to get a licence to produce and export cascara in D.R. Congo

Origin Multiple
Subregion North Kivu
Producer Type Small Holder Farmers
Processing Natural/Dry Processed
Processing Description Dried on raised beds and then pulped
Plant Species Arabica
Variety Bourbon
Coffee Grade CC DRY PULP
Bag Weight 20 KG BAG
Bag Types Grain Pro / Ecotact

The Region

Nord-Kivu (North of Lake Kivu) is situated on the edge of Virunga National Park, bordered by Uganda to the east. The region has excellent conditions for speciality arabica production with plentiful rainfall, high altitude and highly fertile volcanic soils. The region is also very poverty-stricken and has had a severe lack of infrastructure which has made high quality arabica both difficult to produce and very challenging to export. Virunga Coffee Company has sought to overcome many of these problems through hands-on farmer education and investment in local infrastructure such as roads and bridges. This has allowed quality improvements every season and, in turn, higher premiums for farmers.

History of Coffee in D.R.C

Although commercial production of green coffee did not begin in Congo in any meaningful way until the end of the nineteenth century, Robusta has been known to grow wild throughout the region for so long that 100 years ago Robusta was sometimes called “Congo coffee” regardless of where it was grown. In 1895, a well-known botanist, professor Lament, toured the country and declared it so suitable for growing coffee that it could become a “second Brazil," and Arabica plantings increased dramatically. By 1905, half a million coffee plants were under cultivation and exports reached 41 tons.

The Process

The post harvest process for this cascara started some years ago with a period of literature review, painstaking R&D work and many trials. The results from this research phase pointed the team towards a dry pulping technique, whereby cherries are dried whole on raised beds and then pulped after drying. This process produces an especially fruity profile in the final cup. 

In order to maintain consistency only the highest quality ripe cherries with high Brix levels are selected via handpicking and floatation. Careful control of the process throughout is essential to avoid fermentation or mould formation. 

  • Subregion North Kivu
  • Producer Type Small Holder Farmers
  • Processing Natural/Dry Processed
  • Processing Description Dried on raised beds and then pulped
  • Bag Types Grain Pro / Ecotact
  • Plant Species Arabica
  • Variety Bourbon
  • Min Growing Altitude 1750m
  • Max Growing Altitude 2000m
  • On Sale No
  • Top Lot No
  • Price Per Kg €9.00
  • Status Spot
  • Certifications Organic certified, AtSource Plus
  • Coffee Grade CC DRY PULP
  • CTRM Contract Number P8001552-1
  • Origin Multiple
  • Warehouse Vollers Hamburg