The cooperative society RAEK baffled us when we first arrived there in March, 2017. A state of the art washing station, tons of agronomic and processing knowledge, a cupping score of 87,53 in the first "Saveur du Kivu" competition in 2015 - and yet no specialty buyers. This is partly due to the fact that East Congo is still being discovered by the specialty coffee industry, and partly because almost no one had ever heard of the specialty coffee phenomenon. Whatever the case, this was a situation we needed to change.

The group is driven by two very capable and open-minded entrepreneurs, Oscar and Désiré. Together, they strive to attract farmers from all over the southern Kivu region and help them harvest and deliver top-notch coffee. Because of their good prices and honest payment ethic, farmers are flocking to RAEK to become members and the washing station needed to be heavily expanded for the 2017 harvest. On our visit, we invited the farmers to roast and cup their own coffees for the first time. For our first import from RAEK, we selected a lot from in and around the village of Katana. Expect beautifully bright flavours of tropical and stone fruits and stunningly long aftertaste.

RAEK distinguishes itself by taking control of the export process, even though they have to outsource their milling to a third party (Jambo Safari) Goma. This makes them more attractive to buyers as contracts can be settled immediately with the coop and without surprises. Désiré even helped us find a shipping partner to co-ship with. 


Arabica JBM (Typica) and Bourbon (Jackson)



1,700 - 1,900 meters above sea level



No specialty buyers until this year. Encouraged the coop create microlots on the basis of single harvest dates to ensure uniformity in humidity and differentiability in micro-regions. 


Key Achievements

2017: first direct sales of RAEK coffee in Europe, introduction of the cooperative to the specialty coffee phenomenon, creation of single harvest date / regional microlots.



fully washed: wet fermented for 12 hours, washed with mountain water, shade dried and pre-sorted, then sun dried on raised beds.


PRICE breakdown (EUR/KG)

€ 9,10

the price you pay for this coffee p/kg. This Side Up pays $7 (or €6,30) to RAEK, which is 2,27 x the Fair Trade base price. We agreed on this price directly with the farmers, disregarding the volatile US Coffee C price.

€ 2,43 + € 1,75

the price RAEK pays farmers for their cherries as p/kg price of green (milled) coffee. This price is often unknown to buyers. The extra €1,75 is a premium that RAEK will invest in the members, the content of the investment is to be decided in the general assembly meeting at the end of the 2017 harvest.

€ 2,00 + € 0,39

RAEK's wet-processing costs and export fee + Jambo Safari's dry milling fee.

€ 0,49

total overland logistics costs from Goma, Congo to Mombasa, Kenya and shipping costs to Zeebrugge, Belgium - and on to our warehouse.

€ 2,04

This Side Up expense coverage. Around 23% of the total price. Expenses include wages, sending samples, travel and various office costs.





We found that the best profile for our washed Congo lots was a derivation of our Aranga profile but with a slightly lower ROR and longer duration. Great fresh ruit notes and borderline syrupy body.


You may use these images freely to promote RAEK and the Katana lot among your customers.



RAEK's president, Oscar Kubisibwa, speaks fluent English and French and is happy to converse with interested buyers and coffee enthusiasts by email.


PRESIDENT Oscar Kubisibwa


TEL +243 (0)813 181 325




Katana, South Kivu Region - Democratic Republic Congo