MEDIUM ROAST – Direct Trade Coffee


Country: DR Congo

Altitude: 1,500 MASL [4,921 feet]

Process: Washed

Tasting Notes: Walnut, Robust, Full Body

We roast ‘in-Haus’ so that you can have a ‘Farm to Cup’ experience

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About DR Congo
About Ethiopia
Additional information

Coffee from the Democratic Republic of Congo

Coffees from the DRC are distinct from other African coffee-growing nations in the area thanks to the growing regions around Lake Kivu—Burundi, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo. Although these countries are relatively close geographically, the lake and its surrounding landscape has an incredible diversity of microclimate and profile.

Ntaba Coffee’s supplier sources it’s beans from a partnership with SOPACDI (Solidarité Paysanne pour la Promotion des Actions Café et Development Intégral), an organization of nearly 6,000 smallholder farmers. Founded by coffee farmer, Joachim Munganga in 2002, he recognized the need for other smallholders to have access to a broader market and technology that would help them improve their quality. Now, with the ability to source more and more coffee from this region each year, Ntaba Coffee is proud to partner with this grassroots level cooperative.


Not to be confused with the neighboring country of Republic of the Congo, the DRC has a long and established coffee-growing economy, with an emphasis on high-quality Arabica coffee is just gaining a foothold among producers. The country itself is the fourth most-heavily populated on the African continent and is the second-largest nation in Africa as well. Unfortunately, resources and infrastructure such as roads, potable water, and electricity are scarce, and development within the agrobusiness sector has been slow.

First introduced by European colonists, who owned and operated large coffee plantations using local labor to tend to the fields, DRC has a history like that of Kenya, Tanzania, and other colonized African nations. When independence from Belgium was gained in 1960, the land was broken up in redistribution schemes, with each new farmer getting a very small plot of land.

Until 1976, the national regulatory authority held a monopoly on the coffee-export market. In the early 1980s liberalization and the elimination of price controls created both opportunity and some chaos as the market equalized to determine pricing levels and structure. In the coffee industry itself, the transition from a primarily plantation-based coffee-farming industry to one comprising thousands of smallholder farms was a somewhat difficult time for producers, as they struggled to market and to manage their own land and operations. DRC is a country that is still very much dominated by rural agriculture, and access to the coffee market is exceptionally difficult. Political and economic unrest over the past few decades has made specialty-coffee growing and sourcing a challenge, but thanks to projects, organizations, and cooperatives such as SOPACDI, networks and infrastructure are improving and are bringing top-quality lots to the international market.

DRC has seven provinces, and coffee is grown throughout most of the country. It is a significant cash crop, though most of what is grown and exported is either full Robusta or not specialty-quality. Thanks to investment projects and direct-sourcing projects, a general increase in profile and availability of better coffees over the next few years looks very hopeful for Congolese coffees.


Ntaba Coffee is proud to support the co-operative society SCFCU (Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union), which allows our supplier to bring Fair Trade– and organic-certified Sidama coffees from specific farmer co-ops.


Ethiopia holds near-legendary status not only because it’s the “birthplace” of Arabica coffee, but also because it is simply unlike any other place in the coffee world. Unlike most coffee-growing countries, the plant was not introduced as a cash crop through colonization but were endemic to the country. In Ethiopia growing, processing, and drinking coffee is part of the everyday way of life, and has been for centuries. Coffee trees were discovered growing wild in forests and eventually cultivated for household use and commercial sale.

Culturally, politically, economically, and culinarily, Ethiopian coffee is hard to fully comprehend. Add to that the fact that the genetic diversity of coffee grown in Ethiopia is unmatched globally. There is 99% more genetic material in Ethiopia’s coffee alone than in the entire rest of the world—and the result is a coffee lover’s dream:

Because the beverage has such a significant role in the daily lives of Ethiopians, another unique aspect of Ethiopia’s coffee production is the very high domestic consumption.  About 50% of the country’s 6.5-million-bag annual production is consumed at home, with roughly 3.5 million bags exported.

Still commonly enjoyed as part of a “ceremonial” preparation, coffee is a way of gathering family, friends, and associates around a table for conversation and community. The most senior woman of the household roasts the coffee in a pan and grinds it fresh before mixing it with hot water in a brewing pot called a jebena. She serves the strong liquid in small cups, adding fresh boiling water to brew the coffee two more times. Taking about an hour from start to finish, the process is considered a regular show of hospitality and society.

Most if Ethiopia’s farmers are smallholders and sustenance farmers, with less than 1 hectare of land each. In many cases it is almost more accurate to describe the harvests as “garden coffee,” as the trees do sometimes grow in more of a garden or forest environment than in large fields. While there are some large, privately-owned estates and co-operatives comprising of a mix of small and more mid-size farms, the average producer in Ethiopia grows relatively very little for commercial sale.


There are several ways coffee is prepared for market in Ethiopia. While there are large, privately-owned estates which are operated by hired labor, “garden coffee” is brought by a farmer in cherry form to the closest or most convenient washing station. The washed beans are then sold and blended with other farmers’ lots and processed according to the desires of the washing station. Co-op members will bring their crop to be weighed and received at a co-op washing station, where there is more traceability to the producer.

The profile of Ethiopian coffees will vary based on several factors, including variety, process, and microregion. Typically, natural processed coffees will have much more of a pronounced fruit and deep chocolate tones, often with a bit of a winey characteristic and a syrupy body. Washed coffees will be lighter and have more pronounced acidity, though individual characteristics may vary.

Harrar coffees are almost always processed naturally, or “dry,” and have a distinctly chocolate, nutty profile that reflects the somewhat more arid climate the coffee grows in.

Sidama is a large coffee-growing region in the south and includes Guji and the famous Yirgacheffe.  Yirgacheffe coffee is a wet processed coffee grown at elevations from 1,600 to 2,300 meters above sea level and is the considered the best high-grown coffee in southern Ethiopia.

Country of Origin: Democratic Republic of Congo

Tasting Notes: Baker’s Chocolate, Molasses, Brazil Nut

Process: Washed

Growth Elevation: 1,700 MASL [5,600 feet]

We roast ‘in-Haus’ so that you can have a ‘Farm to Cup’ experience

** Available for discounted subscription **

Weight .82 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 8 × 9.5 in
2nd choice of monthly roast

BURUNDI – Natural – Migoti Hill – Light Roast, ZAMBIA DECAF Mafinga Hills–Light Med Roast, TANZANIA Tarime District–Medium Roast, KENYA Nyeri Peaberry–Medium Roast, TANZANIA – Iganda Cooperative – Dark Roast