Music is one commodity that the world has freely exchanged with the African nation of Congo in a mutually-beneficial exchange of global rhythm. Congolese music is about movement in all meanings of the word. It is the expression of the people. Though this is a story about one Congolese musician, Tabu Ley Rochereau, it’s also more of a story about music itself, about what it means to have a global conversation through the give and take of ideas.
In early 2017, Blas Alfaro traveled with a team of coffee professionals to the Bukonzo Joint Cooperative in Uganda’s so-called “Mountains of the Moon.” The team was there to meet coffee producers, sample their crop, and learn more about their farming practices. While working through the red dirt streets of the village, Blas passed three young men in their twenties sitting with a sewing machine, in a single room hut by the road. Blas introduced himself, curious about their business.
As Blas and company piled out of a white Toyota, a dozen villagers formed a circle around four Rwandan dancers who moved in rhythmic grace through a series of steps and gesture. Their brightly patterned clothing flashed in the dusky light. A villager in a white dress shirt beat a drum in time with long flat sticks that looked like a ladle, his lilting voice traveling out over the evening. Read a story from Blas, our coffee VP, and his trip to visit our farmers in Rwanda.
The rising temperatures of climate change have impacted coffee farms across the globe. In recent years the threat of La Roya (“coffee rust”) has increased in high altitude areas, which were once thought safe from the cold-sensitive disease. Read more about how climate change is affecting our favorite drink and what our partners at the National Coffee Association are doing to combat the impacts.