The Caffe Praego Coffee Company are passionate about producing superb tasting coffee, working with the highest quality beans they can personally source. It is really important for them to be able to “put back” into those communities to help them flourish and improve not only their own lives but also their crops.
Their love for coffee & provenance goes well beyond the beans in the bag; it embraces the whole essence of the aroma, taste and the simple enjoyment of just relaxing and drinking a cup of very special coffee. The fusion of two different cultures coming together to blend a coffee that is unique and magical.
Background to The Caffe Praego blend
The Caffe Praego philanthropy of sourcing coffee direct from the growers then putting funds, support and help back into those very communities, developed back in 2007.
Rwanda was chosen as their primary product source due to the very high quality of their coffee, as well as the uniqueness of supply. Known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, Rwanda is a beautiful country, with the perfect climate and terrain for producing fine coffee. Coffee trees flourish in the high altitudes and temperatures, nourished by rich volcanic soils and mountain spring waters.
In 1994, one of the worst genocides known to man tore the country apart. For the last 20 years the Rwandan people have strived with proud determination to work hard restoring their country from the ashes. But the legacy of the genocide left over 400,000 orphans.
Since 2007, the Point Foundation has worked tirelessly to improve the welfare of Rwandan children, becoming a primary source of life changing projects.
The Point Foundation is an accredited charity managing the Caffe Praego community projects.
Today Caffe Praego is proud to directly work with the coffee farmers, their Co-operatives, and our community projects, all located close to where the coffee is sourced. Our teams regularly travel to Rwanda maintaining strong links with the projects. We visit the farms to agree tonnages, check on quality & discuss present & future projects
Your Caffe Praego Fresh Bean & Ground Coffees are sourced directly from the plantations, thus ensuring that maintain strong links with the Farmers, the Co-operatives and their communities are maintained. The roaster trades ethically to ensure that not only do they pay a fair price for their products, but it also allows them to work closely within their communities helping fund and manage life enhancing projects, such as rebuilding housing, schools, water systems and supporting local orphanages such as the Noel. The last four yearshave been speant working in Rwanda on various community projects making a huge difference to those families living there.
By working closely with the farmers, they guarantee the very highest quality beans are used to deliver a consistent aroma and superb tasting drink. Unlike most other suppliers, they do not use aluminium packaging, thereby making the coffee bags more environmentally friendly and easy to recycle. The bags are designed though to maximise the freshness of the roasted beans with a special patented seal.
Caffe Praego’s superb taste
In order to create the “perfect coffee drink of consistency, colour & taste” the roaster blends two types of bean – high grade A Arabica and earthy Robusta beans. These are sourced from the Misozi Co-operative in Rwanda with coffee beans delivered within 6 weeks from field to bag. The Misozi Co-operative is the umbrella organisation supporting many thousands of families who grow the finest grade coffee beans. They are spread across the lush mountains – on the very rooftop of Central East Africa. Each location has unique character and beauty, and from each co-operative comes distinctive coffee of the highest quality.
Misozi is a Kinya-rwanda word for “hills”, signifying where the coffee comes from. Misozi is a farmers’ owned Co-operative, buying from growers then exporting to select parts of the world.
Caffe Praego coffee beans are grown by the Kopakabi co-operative located on the slopes surrounding Lake Mugesera, a tranquil expanse surrounded by the lush banana plantations of Rwanda’s Eastern Province. The trees are grown on the slopes of high altitude mountains ranging from 1500 to 2200 metres above sea level with temperatures varying from 17 to 23 degrees
The climate, altitude and volcanic soils allow the predominantly Bourbon-variety coffee cherries to mature slowly, giving a good-sized bean that is rich in flavour and aroma. Ripe cherries are picked in the early hours of the morning. They are then immediately delivered to the washing station where they are again hand sorted. The best quality cherries are pulped, fermented, graded and washed; all under expert supervision.
After washing, the beans are spread on raised, ventilated drying tables. They are protected from both rain and excessive sunlight throughout the drying process, allowing the coffee to develop its full taste characteristics slowly and naturally. When dry, the coffee parchment is carefully bagged in well-ventilated stores before being transported to Kigali for milling and grading according to our requirements and then shipped from the port of Mombassa in Kenya to our Roasters in the UK.
Kopakabi has 1119 smallholder members of which 242 are women members, each owning an average of 285 coffee trees. The cooperative was founded in 1998 with a maiden production of 3 tons. Today they are exporting over 50 metric tons bags, a remarkable achievement.
|After the deep trauma and tragedy back in 1994, when over a million people were massacred in 100 days, Rwanda’s coffee farmers today have their eyes firmly fixed on the future. They are coming together from their different ethnic backgrounds to form co-operatives to build better livelihoods for their families and their communities.|
The Coffee Co-operatives growing for Caffe Praego
Single Source Origin – Our Lake Kivu Blend
Caffe Praego’s Lake Kivu blend coffee contains the finest grade A Arabica Bourbon variety, cherry beans – carefully selected from two of the finest Co-operatives in Rwanda.
The award winning beans from Ingoboka are grown high up in the lush hills at an altitude of 1800m, overlooking Lake Kivu and the Virunga Mountains, home to the famous and rare mountain gorillas. The second Co-operative, Cocamu is located to the East overlooking the mountainous terrain of Tanzania.
Regular rain fall, high altitudes and warm temperatures are perfect growing conditions for Arabica beans.
To enhance the full bodied taste of our coffee, we add a small amount of an equally high quality Robusta cherry bean grown in neighbouring Uganda to create a perfect Espresso with thickness, body and delicious taste.
Our coffee graders description of the taste profile is “sweet, clean & with a hint of berry” producing a smooth, well-structured coffee with a rich crema and maximum flavour
SINGLE ORIGIN INGOBOKA CO-OPERATIVE COFFEE
The Ingoboka Co-operative is located in the Rutsiro district of Rwanda’s Western District. It nestles in a picturesque valley beside the shores of Lake Kivu, 3 hour’s drive from Giseyni town and close to the Congo border.
The plantation & Co-operative was started back in 2004 & is made up of a group of 135 farmers, maintaining around 10,000 coffee trees, which is relatively small by Rwanda’s standards. Coffee trees grow quickly once planted as saplings, with a life expectancy of around 20 years. The plantation surrounds the washing station so after the daily picking, cherries are swiftly carried up to the flotation tanks ready for sorting and cleaning.
Ingoboka produces around 200 tons of fully washed, finest grade 1 & 2 Arabica Bourbon Coffee per year at an altitude of around 1800m and nourished by rich volcanic soil. Ingoboka are a Fair Trade certified plantation with very high standards of growing, cleanliness and organisation. For the last twelve months they have been working hard to get the farms fully certified as 100% organic.
Ingoboka Co-operative won the 2011 prestigious award for “Coffee Cup of Excellence”
SINGLE ORIGIN COCAMU CO-OPERATIVE COFFEE
The Cocamu Co-operative is located close to the Tanzanian border near Agakera and 3 hours from the Rwandan capital Kigali. The plantation & washing station is located in a scenic mountain range overlooking hundreds of miles of African landscape. Cocamu is a large plantation with around 600,000 coffee trees owned by 584 member farmers, including 226 woman-only owners. Many of the trees were already in existence when the Cocamu Co-operative was formed in 2006.
The Co-operative has a reputation for producing excellent quality Arabica Bourbon beans. Their season for picking is early April to mid-June with around 500 tons being available for export.
Cocamu Co-operative is different to other plantations in that they have an excellent training programme, allowing 10,000 trees to be used for training new farmers and for monitoring quality. They are able to produce both top grade and standard coffee beans for different markets.
Cocamu Co-operative has won many awards for their coffee bean and are fully Fair Trade accredited.
The Coffee Farmers’ perspective
Farmer and spokesman Emmanuel Ngerageze explained:
“Coffee for us is more than just a crop. It is our main income, our wealth and security. We are passionate about growing the very best beans in order to make excellent tasting coffee. Now we’re selling our coffee directly, we are seeing many benefits, not only in receiving a fair price so we can improve our living conditions for us, our families and the community but we can invest for the future. It is also good because other farmers are very keen to join the co-operative thus giving us greater production”.
Cupping Caffe Praego and Masteroast coffee tasters taste testing and profiling the latest Ingoboka and Coocamu harvest at HQ in Kigali Rwanda
Packaging – Our Coffee Bags & Packing Cases
Caffe Praego does not use aluminium packaging, meaning our bags are more environmentally friendly and easy to recycle. Bags are designed to maximise the freshness of the roasted beans with a special patented seal. Caffe Praego cardboard boxes are made from recycled material and can be used again. Boxes contain no bleaches and the ink is from a sustainable source.
Coffee & Art – a great combination
Historically, coffee and art have always been linked. As part of our community projects, we support 170 university students including 22 year old art student, Frank SETTO. He grew up in the Noel Orphanage having lost all adult family members during the 1994 genocide.
Despite traumatic memories, institutional childhood and poverty, Frank has a natural born artistic talent that deserves credit. He’s now had to leave the orphanage with his 4 younger siblings and become their sole provider. Frank is in his second year at university in Kigali, on the only art and graphic design course available in Rwanda. He is sponsored through the Point Foundation and artwork commissions from Caffe Praego are supporting him to feed his brothers and sisters.