"Muungano" means "togetherness" in Swahili, a perfect description of this emerging group of farmers who have joined together across communities after decades of conflict. DR Congo is home to many of the economic slaves of the world, both historically and today. A country the size of Western Europe, it has a population of 70 million, an average life expectancy of just 51 years, and an average income of only $200. The very first contact with indigenous Congolese came with explorers who were determined to conquer the last impenetrable part of Africa. From Dr. David Livingstone to Belgium’s King Leopold II, countless individuals and groups have used the Congo as their personal playground of riches, taking advantage of the region’s vast store of natural resources. Rubber, ivory, and more recently minerals have been expropriated via systems of forced labor and massive human rights violations. Coffee represents a sliver of hope for the DR Congo, and we jumped at the opportunity to engage in a movement for peace through economic development not based on conflict or exploitation. Through coffee, it is hoped by many, local Congolese can begin to rebuild their communities following years of strife. The current harvest from Muungano is a standout among our offerings, presenting incredible cup quality with characteristic juiciness and distinct herbal and grapefruit notes.
Higher Grounds is proud to offer exceptional coffees from around the world by building lasting partnerships with small-scale growers, working directly with them to ensure a top-quality product. Through those close relationships and ongoing community projects both in our local area and globally, we provide coffee drinkers with an excellent product and the opportunity to engage in a cycle that begins at, and returns to, our partners in coffee-growing regions.