Congo

Coffee production in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is centered in the provinces of Lake Kivu. There are about 11,000 coffee farmers in the country who produce two main varieties of coffee, Robusta, and Arabica.

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Coffee was introduced in 1881 to the Democratic Republic from Liberia. The DRC is now considered a rising producer of specialty coffees. It has high hopes for the future, and more and more roasters are going there for coffee. The soil, altitude, and climate of parts of the DRC are perfect for the Robusta coffee, which is worth seeking, supporting, and consuming.

Coffee production in the DRC started to gain momentum under the brutal rule of the Belgian colonists. The majority of coffee was produced on these estates, not by smallholders. until independence in 1960.

After they gained independence in 1960, the government reduced the funding and in the 1970s the production began to decline. By 1987, the conditions had changed and only 14% of coffee came from estates, and by 1996 this number dropped to only 2%, the rest of the coffee was made by farmers in their smallholders. Coffee production from 1970 had boomed as a result of the free market, and the government supported the industry by reducing tariffs on exports.

However, all the efforts are pointless because in the 1990s when the First and Second Congo Wars happened it resulted in a decline in production. And things only became worse, because of the spread of coffee wilt disease. The coffee production from 1970 to 2000 has declined to half.

Since then both the government and outside NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have invested massive amounts of money in the sector. The people from Congo still wish to regain their coffee production which was present in 1970.