Democratic Republic of Congo Boza Cooperative
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Boza Cooperative –
Peach, Cherry Cola, Cinnamon Sugar Graham Cracker
South Kivu, D.R. Congo
The Boza Cooperative is part of the Rebuild Women’s Hope organization, a 100% women-owned/operated coffee cooperative located on Idjwi Island in Lake Kivu. Founded by Marcelline Budzu in 2013, Rebuild Women’s Hope set out with a vision “to place women at the center of the integrated development of their community,” accomplishing this by empowering them with information about rights, tangible skills used to provide for themselves, and encouraging autonomy. The organization began this process by improving the quality of coffee in Idjwi; building two modern coffee washing stations (including Boza), and offering members agronomic consultation and interest-free loans that producers can repay during harvest with either cash or coffee cherry. This work has resulted in coffee of incredible quality, but more importantly, it has given women of the community an opportunity to seek empowerment and independence.
The work of Rebuild Women’s Hope has rippled through the DRC community to empower women, while also bringing an amazing quality coffee. This lot from the Boza Cooperative is tropical, sweet, and has a depth of complexity that we love. Opening with ripe peach and a pronounced tropical acidity, the coffee evolves into sparkling cherry cola, and finishes with sweet and spiced qualities reminiscent of cinnamon sugar graham crackers. This coffee is recommended for those looking for some adventure and for those familiar with the lighter specialty profile.
Origin // Democratic Republic of the Congo
Region // South Kivu
Producer // Boza Cooperative
Variety // Red Bourbon, Blue Mountain
Elevation // 1,480 – 2,000 m.a.s.l.
Process // Washed
Flavor Notes // Peach, Cherry Cola, Tropical, Cinnamon Sugar Graham Cracker
Marcelline Budzu grew up on the southern shore of Lake Kivu with her three sisters, raised by their single mother. Growing up in one of the most violent periods in the history of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Marcelline witnessed first-hand the strength and courage it took for their mother to raise her and her siblings, supporting their family by selling the coffee cherry and pineapple she grew. From a young age, Marcelline knew she wanted to see a brighter future for women in eastern DRC, and after graduating college with a degree in Agronomy, she founded Rebuild Women’s Hope (RWH) in 2013. In addition to resources surrounding coffee, RWH works to uplift women with educational resources and highlight the impact of the work they do in the DRC, which historically has been unrepresented in the country.
Region: South Kivu
The Boza Cooperative resides in the South Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Located south of Lake Kivu, this area shares proximity to other coffee-growing regions around the lake in Burundi and Rwanda. Despite being close to these other growing areas, the diverse landscape surrounding the lake results in microclimates that produce coffees with truly delicious and unique profiles.
Processing Method: Washed
Washed Coffees in DR Congo are first de-pulped to remove the fruit from the seed. Next a fermentation process is used next to remove the remaining mucilage. After the mucilage is removed, the coffee seeds are washed in a fermentation tank for 12 hours and then laid out to dry on shaded raised beds for 16 – 25 days.