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Twenty years ago, coffee from Rwanda was known and loved. And then the wars began. The anarchy and violence made exporting coffee from the landlocked country nearly impossible, and the internal strife caused so much turmoil that little coffee was being processed suitable for exporting anyway. Rwanda fell off the coffee map.
In 2003, the wars officially ended, and the country began to rebuild. Over the past two to three years, coffee began flowing out of the country again, although it’s still exporting less than half of what it was 20 years ago.
This Rwandan coffee is from the COOPAC organization, which is a Fair Trade certified and an organic co-op of farmers who live on the slopes of volcanic mountains (coffee trees love volcanic soil and high altitudes!). The membership in this group is growing quickly and now boasts over 2000 families! The 2010 crop won the “Cup of Excellence” award which is a very big deal in the coffee industry. It means that in blind taste tests of hundreds of samples, this is the coffee crop that tasted the very best of all. The USA importer that bought it (at auction, at high prices), sold the entire crop in about a week’s time. Unfortunately, the 2011 and 2012 crop have not matched the taste that infatuated us that year, but we continue to buy and support the co-op.