A family's journey ultimately leading them to the world of coffee
3 African Sisters is a story that began with a family's journey, which led them to Rwanda into the world of coffee. After having experienced a violent attack in their home in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2008, it was time to leave everything behind, to reinvent themselves, and begin a new chapter. Subconsciously perhaps they found solace in the Land of a Thousand Hills, which was, too, healing from a past of heinous crimes against humanity. Marc was no stranger to Rwanda. In 1996, with his friend and partner, he had the courage and spirit of adventure to build the first Gorilla Hotel in Kigali. Then in 2009, he purchased the defunct Rwandex coffee factory on Lake Kivu, planting the first seed for his future harvests.
With the eyes of explorers, Marc and Tanya saw potential in their new home naturally rich in high-quality coffee, but lacking in coffee culture. Their journey began exporting 100% Arabica, Specialty coffee from East Africa. Both entrepreneurs, wanting to achieve more and seeking life's most celebrated treasures, became driven to create an exceptional brand of roasted coffee for Rwanda in 2013, and so "3 African Sisters" was born. A brand intended to be a positive symbol, built on an ethos of coming together, keeping together, and working together.
They set out creating their brand narrative, inspired by the coffee, the woman, the farmers, and the land, to tell their story. A brand of coffee that depicted the way they saw Rwanda - a rising star, moving forward with strength. For Marc and Tanya, their brand needed to convey what they stand for and believe in - respect, hard work, and a drive towards excellence. Tanya says, "For us, our coffee needed to represent the heart, soul, and determination of the Rwandese people. We chose the happy faces, as our brand identity, as a tribute to the women whom we believe have been instrumental in changing the image of this country from one of hate to one of hope and forgiveness".
With the start of each new coffee season, the 3 African Sisters brand has grown new shoots. Having started off roasting on a Diedrich IR12, in Kigali, for the community and tourists, to a brand new range of Africa's Finest. Today Tanya says, "we proudly craft coffee that highlights the exotic, fruity flavors and rich floral, sweet notes linking you to the fertile land where Africa's finest coffee is grown. To us, excellence in coffee is not a destination but a continuous journey".
The story of 3 African Sisters comes from the African custom where extended families can be considered sisters and brothers. Rwanda is a little oasis in the center of Africa, bordered by Burundi to the south and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Once upon a time, these were all one land. The specialty green coffee now growing in each of these origins is distinctive in its aromas and flavors.
Today it is common for a Rwandese family to have sisters residing in these neighboring countries. Like sisters from one mother, they too were separated, each developing their unique qualities, hence the story of 3 African Sisters.
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