Our Quality Control Lead in Melbourne, Sophia Wilson, is instrumental in selecting single origin coffee for Allpress Espresso.
For this year’s International Women’s Day, Sophia has sourced a remarkable coffee from Rwanda and managed our relationship with its producers; the Rwandan Nziza Women’s Collective. The Nziza Women’s Collective is a group of two hundred women on the shores of Lake Kivu on Rwanda’s Western border. They are survivors of the Rwandan Genocide and the sole income providers of their families.
Women in coffee are taking the lead. A modern wave of talented women are impacting the sourcing and selection of premium coffee with a fresh approach.
We’ve been purchasing coffee from the Nziza Collective for the past five years. Now, through the work of not-for-profit Land of a Thousand Hills and coffee importer First Crop Coffee, this exceptional coffee is available at Allpress Espresso to celebrate International Women’s Day. 100% of the proceeds of this coffee is being donated back to the Collective to provide wages, education and healthcare for the Nziza women.
Sophia, tell us about this coffee. What makes it so special?
Our Rwanda Nziza Women’s Collective coffee embodies the producer's tagline; “Drink Coffee, Do Good”. The Collective reinvest the proceeds of their coffee back into their community, from providing tools and training for workers, through communal facilities such as their newly built maternity ward.
The International Coffee Organization cites that 20%-30% of coffee farms are female-operated, and a whopping 70% of labour in coffee production is provided by women. Investing in women producers like the Nziza Collective empowers their development, as gender equity leads to growth in so many other areas of the community.
People who are happy and healthy do what they do best, and in our case, they produce the best possible tasting coffee. This year’s crop is better than ever, with a delicate floral aroma, green apple acidity, and a delicious caramel finish.
What does it take to coordinate the quality control and sourcing of a coffee like this Rwandan for Australia?
The team at our importers First Crop Coffee go to great lengths to provide transparency, generous pricing for producers, and investment back into the communities they partner with. They only work with select farms (many of them are women-lead) that meet strict quality criteria, so we knew from the beginning that this coffee would taste as great as the work being done.
Allpress has worked closely with First Crop for years, meaning we’ve had time to dial in the roast to perfection and watch as their investment in the Collective has enhanced the quality of the beans year after year.
What do you love most about this campaign?
I love that this project has been able to support women in multiple areas of the coffee industry. We’ve offered this coffee for the last five years as a single origin, which is important in building relationships that can grow sustainably. Longevity is so essential for encouraging growth and visibility for producers.
This coffee is grown by the women of the Nziza Collective. Our importer, First Crop Coffee, was co-founded by Celina Lazarus. I’ve been doing my bit to make sure the coffee tastes great, and we have women in our cafés serving this coffee to our customers. From seed to cup, we’ve got women working their magic to make this coffee the best it can be.
What should people expect from this campaign?
We’re donating the profits of this coffee back into the Collective, which will be a massive opportunity for growth within the project. There’s tremendous potential to support women, and I’d love to show our customers how their impact affects producers in Rwanda.
Our Rwandan Nziza Women's Collective Coffee is avaliable in our Australia and New Zealand Cafes as well as online from March 7th 2022 while stocks last, Or grab a print of the artwork from Emma’s website.