EDITORIAL BY JEAN-PIERRE BLANC

 

Dear Visitor,
Welcome to Malongo's new website!

We have created this new virtual space in order to express our personal idea of that fabulous product we call coffee to the best of our ability. In the graphic environment and on each of the individual pages, we have tried to evoke the thousand and one reasons why we have all forged intimate ties with this particular beverage. We have such a feeling of well-being each time, in the course of our day, alone or in company, we find ourselves before a cup of coffee. GOOD coffee! It conveys images we dream of, visions of distant plantations, expert hands pruning the coffee plants or gathering the precious coffee cherries, jute sacks piled up in cargo holds… Its aromas take us on a journey to the fragrant workshops where, at each stage in production, master craftsmen lavish all their care and experience on it.

For Malongo, it is unthinkable to handle a product of such nobility without adopting an approach at once humble and ethical. Wherever you find yourself on this site, on the pages that present our ranges of coffee, our machines, our methods and our favourite production areas, on those that recount our history, explain our philosophy or discuss what we do in the field, in the sections that deal with fair trade or organic farming, you will find that pride of place is given to those values that we cherish. The predominantly white graphic design embodies purity, authenticity and simplicity. Our logo symbolises our commitment to the great commercial and environmental issues that await us in the coming century.

Coffee is an agricultural crop on which the fruit, before releasing its very quintessence in the cup of the person drinking it, passes through many hands blessed with an expertise perfected over six hundred years. The coffee-making machine, which completes the process, must not betray the meticulous work performed right down the line. In order to be certain that our values are respected all along this chain, our policy is to handle production ourselves, from start to finish! In beans or ground, in metal canisters or soft coffee pods, the coffee that we package has been carefully selected in plantations that we know and regularly visit. They are run by small producers whose practices are a guarantee of very good quality. We maintain relations of trust and respect with them. We roast the green beans ourselves, according to the slow "20-minute" method, the best there is. Our 1,2,3 Spresso range of machines has been perfected using all the skill and technique of our espresso specialists.

Most of our coffees are certified by the Max Havelaar Fair Trade – we are the first in France to benefit from this endorsement – and Organic Farming labels. We do not envisage expansion other than in terms of increasingly sustainable development. On this subject, which is close to our heart, we are open to discussion with our colleagues and clientele of professionals and individuals alike.
This is why this site must be considered a forum for discussion and information. It is as much your space as ours.

If we promote the human aspect so much in our policy, it is because Malongo's history reposes on singular encounters with enthusiastic and determined characters. Travelling through equatorial climes, driven by my love of coffee and my eagerness to learn, I have been in contact with hundreds of families of small producers, master roasters, adventurers and other enthusiasts with whom I formed my own idea of our profession.
I have had the good fortune to share this approach with the man who has been my accomplice for more than thirty years, Hugo Rombouts, who trusted me to manage the firm of Malongo.
In Mexico, Padre van der Hoff, founder of the Max Havelaar label, transformed my dream of coffee into something even greater, through his conviction, his erudition, his humility and his luminous vision of what international trade could one day become.

Trade should always be like this: everyone should get something out of it.
Coffee should always be like this: always good!
But to achieve this, we have no other choice than to break with current practices in the coffee market. By positioning ourselves as a player who takes in every point of view, we are reinventing our profession. So here we are, forging ahead in a tremendously innovative direction, that we would like to see intensified even further in the years to come.

I hope you find the desire to join our campaign in these pages.

Enjoy your visit!

Jean-Pierre Blanc