On the shores of Lake Kivu near the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of Congo, you’ll find the Muungano cooperative. Birthplace of “Congo Togetherness,” our first-ever organic single-origin coffee, this co-op has a story to tell. One of unity, equality, and unparalleled coffee.
“Muungano” which in the native Swahili language means “togetherness,” acts as more than a name for the co-op, but also the ethos that drives it.
Founded in 2009, Muungano is comprised of around 4,400 smallholder farmers. What’s unorthodox for the region, is that nearly half of these farmers are women. In a country struggling with widespread gender equality, the Muungano co-op places equal rights at the crux of their operation. Gender justice is a principal focus of the co-op’s members, as is integrating a diverse array of farmers from different ethnic groups. Muungano shines with the harmony of all different types of Congolese working hard together to create the best coffee possible.
As for the coffee, it does not disappoint. Despite challenges faced by coffee producers in the DRC as well as less than ideal coffee equipment, Muungano still manages to produce the best Congo coffee we’ve ever tasted. The fruits of their labor are apparent in the sweet, bright, and complex coffees they produce each and every year.
In 2017, Muungano obtained their Organic certification, which has the potential to open new doors for the co-op. Out of their hard work, our Muungano Togetherness single-origin was born. Light-roasted perfection with exceptional complexity and delicate sweetness that reflects the harmony of its community-minded producers.
Muungano serves as a great reminder of how hard our growers work to produce their coffee, often with limited infrastructure and in very difficult circumstances. It also serves as a consummate lesson on how diversity, unity, and equality can inspire a group of like-minded individuals to move mountains.