Congo (Democratic Republic of)

About...

The Democratic Republic of Congo, in Central Africa, it is the second largest country in Africa, and it is 8 times the size of France - making it the largest francophone country with 78 million people. 

The Democratic Republic of Congo is located at the equator, experiencing a tropical climate and rainforest. The Congo River runs across D.R.C and it is the second largest river in Africa after the Nile.  The Rift Valley shapes Congo, with high mountains to the East - the Virunga and the all set of still active volcanos. Congo is also extremely wealthy in all kinds of minerals 

 D.R.C is extremely rich in natural resources of all sorts, unfortunately it is plagued by civil war, political instability and poverty. 

Arabica 60%, Robusta 40%

The tropical climate, fertile soil and abundancy of rain provide ideal conditions for the cultivation of both Arabica and Robusta. Arabica grows mostly on the highlands of the  east part of Congo above 1500 meters over rich volcanic soil. Robusta is also endemic to the country and is produced mostly on the North East of Congo. Due to its ideal geographic conditions Congo can produce very high quality Arabicas and Robustas. The country is considered one of new jewels in the  specialty coffee world. 

Bags of 60 Kg

Crop periods

Flowering period

Main : from May until July

North

begins in May

East

begins in June

South

begins in October

 

Harvest period

 

Main crop

Secondary crop

North-East

From August until November

From February until May

South-East

From May until September

From August until November

 

Shipping period

All year round

Transit Days

Port of Shipment

Imp.

EU

US

Dar-Es-Salaam (1)

30%

21

40

Mombasa (2)

70%

21

40

 

(1) About Dar-Es-Salaam

For regions of production using Dar-Es-Salaam as principal port of export, coffee is transported by truck (or on barges across lake Kivu) to Uvira, then across the lake to Kigoma and finally by rail to Dar-Es-Salaam.

 

(2) About Mombasa

Coffees produced in the extreme northeast and the Kivu regions are transported by truck to Mombasa via Uganda or Rwanda.

Destination countries

Italy, Switzerland, Belgium,France, Germany, France, USA

ICO Figures

Varieties

Arabica

Blue Mountain | Local Bronze | Rumangabo | Kabare | Maragogype | Bourbon | Jackson | Catura | Typica |Amarela |Mibirizi

Robusta

Canephora, Petit Kwilu

 

By region

Arabica

North-Kivu

South-Kivu

Robusta

Eastern Province

Equateur Province

Bandundo Province

 

By grade


Arabica Washed

K 3

KIVU 3

Fully Washed

K 4

KIVU 4

Semi-washed

K 5

KIVU 5

Fully washed triage

K 6

KIVU 6

Semi-washed triage

Robusta Washed 

HTM / W / M

Hors Type Marchand
Washed Moyen

HTM / W / I

Hors Type Marchand
Washed Inferior

 

Robusta Naturals  

HTM / N / M

Hors Type Marchand
Natural Moyen

HTM / N / I

Hors Type Marchand
Natural Inferior

HTC / M

Hors Type Courant Moyen

HTC / I

Hors Type Courant Inferior

By screensize


Arabica Washed

K 3

KIVU 3

15+

54 % milled over screen 17
20 % milled over screen 16

K 4

KIVU 4

15+

54 % milled over screen 17
20 % milled over screen 16

K 5

KIVU 5

12-16

54 % milled over screen 17
20 % milled over screen 16

K 6

KIVU 6

12-16

Robusta Washed 

HTM / W / M

Hors Type Marchand
Washed Moyen
screen 15 30 / 45% over screen 17
40 / 50% over screen 15
Remainder passing screen 15

HTM / W / I

Hors Type Marchand
Washed Inferior
screen 15 30 / 45% over screen 17
40 / 50% over screen 15
Remainder passing screen 15

 

Robusta Naturals  

HTM / N / M

Hors Type Marchand
Natural Moyen
screen 15 30 / 45% over screen 17
40 / 50% over screen 15
Remainder passing screen 15

HTM / N / I

Hors Type Marchand
Natural Inferior
screen 15 30 / 45% over screen 17
40 / 50% over screen 15
Remainder passing screen 15

HTC / M

Hors Type Courant Moyen screen 15 30 / 45% over screen 17
40 / 50% over screen 15
Remainder passing screen 15

HTC / I

Hors Type Courant Inferior

screen 15

30 / 45% over screen 17
40 / 50% over screen 15
Remainder passing screen 15

By defect

K 3

KIVU 3

less than 6%

K 4

KIVU 4

max 10%

K 5

KIVU 5

depending on preparation

K 6

KIVU 6

depending on preparation

Robusta Washed 

Cupprofile

Arabica 

K 3

KIVU 3

Highly acidic

Heavy round body

Sweet, black tea, dark chocolate, fine herbal, honey

K 4

KIVU 4

Medium acidity

Heavy bodied

Floral, red fruited, tea

 

Robusta

Congo NM

Natural Moyen

Dark chocolate

Caramel

Hazelnuts

Very heavy body

 

Processing

Picking

Handpicking

Washing

Robusta and all Arabicas

Fermentation

No

Drying

In the sun on stagings, usually completed artificially

Sorting

By hand to eliminate the biggest defects such as cherries

Nice to know

Kivu' coffee can be victim to the so-called 'potato'-taste.

About exporters

The coffee sector  in Congo has proved its resilience throughout the history - with export volumes stable across civil war and political instability. With a production volume of around 313,000 60kg bags in 2016, the  coffee production in Congo is only a mere fraction of the country potential. Congo remains a country in conflict, with different rebellion groups in the Kivu regions obstructing free coffee movement. Infrastructure is poor and most roads unpaved.  Plenty of robusta get's smuggled to Uganda, avoiding high taxation in Congo.

There has been a surge in the last 5 years of the number of coffee cooperatives getting organized and certified, at same time raising the bar on quality - pushing for true sustainability.               

 

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