Many know the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a country with a bloody and inglorious history. Despite this, deep within the borders of the biggest country in Africa, veiled by the smoke of war, there lies an island that looks like and smells like Heaven. This island is named Idjwi and boasts a reputation among coffee experts as “the last bastion of specialty coffee.” This is where we source the rare and EXCELLENT coffee we sell and is the reason we decided to name both our coffee and our organization, SAWA, a Swahili word which translates simply to excellence.
But where is Idjwi and what is so special about it?
Even to most Congolese themselves, Idjwi and its surroundings could be mistaken as belonging to another planet. Located in the Eastern part of the country, Idjwi is floating calmly in the middle of Lake Kivu, one of the many African Great Lakes. Decades of war and genocide have ravaged the region, yet the island remains as an oasis of peace situated among a backdrop of active volcanoes and the natural beauty of the nearby national parks, home to the last African Gorillas. It is is there that one of the world’s finest coffees is grown.
on idjwi, the farmers have found a haven on which they could tend and refine their crops for generations, but peace is not their only well-kept secret… The island is located at 2000 meters above sea level, right on the equator, and has been flushed by millions of years of volcanic sediments, providing the ideal conditions in which to grow coffee. The rare confluence of these things creates a uniquely rich soil that generously extends its bounty to the coffee it produces.
As a result, our coffee has a distinct bourbon flavor with a rich and complex aroma, punctuated by deep notes of sweet dried cranberries, chutney, and brown sugar, all naturally grown without any synthetic substances.
Growing a good coffee anywhere in the world is a difficult task, but growing such a great coffee in a war-torn region in a way that benefits both CPNCK, our partners who grow your coffee, and Sawa, the retailing branch that brings the coffee to you, is our most gratifying achievement. We are a small partnership with a big dream, not only to revive a Congolese industry, but to change the narrative of an entire country. We aim to show the world that here in the Congo, and Africa as a whole, we too can contribute greatness, or what we proudly call:
- Excellence, from Africa -