New coffee business brewing in Waterville

Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 10:57 PM EST
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WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - Waterville is now home to the first coffee business that is roasted in town.

Churchill Elangwe is the owner. He says all of the beans are handpicked to ensure quality.

“To use coffee to make a difference.”

That’s exactly what Churchill Elangwe set out to do when he started Mbingo Mountain Coffee.

“We roast it, we grind it, we package it right here in Waterville, Maine.” Elangwe said.

Growing up around coffee farms in Cameroon, Churchill says he developed a love for coffee and saw first-hand the work that goes into growing it.

“People, the farmers worked extremely hard but actually are not getting really anything from their produce.” he said.

He knew he wanted to make a difference. He says he got the opportunity early last year when he resigned from his job of 13 years as an engineer and set out to fulfil his life purpose.

“I went to Rwanda, I went to Ethiopia, I went to Cameroon, I went to these countries. I met with the farmers and created that connection with them.” He says those connections are what sets him apart because all his coffee beans come from small farmers in Rwanda, Uganda, and Ethiopia with less than 300 trees.

“It is not industrial coffee where they use machines to harvest. This coffee is picked by hand by the farmers so to ensure ripeness, to ensure that the best quality coffee is produced.” he said.

From there, it is shipped to Maine where Churchill roasts the beans according to the customer’s needs. For him, it’s all about consistency.

“When you try our coffee the first time, the next time we want you to have the same taste.” Elangwe said.

Part of his goal is to educate his community.

“A lot of people did not know how coffee is processed, they didn’t even know where the coffee comes from.” Elangwe said.

The other part is to help the farmers with a percentage from his sales.

“Most of these people, they work extremely hard. Even with their hard work and production that they produce, most of them are not able to educate their children.” he said.

The business went live a month ago, and Holy Cannoli in Waterville is already serving his coffee.

He looks forward to serving Maine, a place he has called home for over a decade now.

“So motivated to actually serve my community with the coffee that I believe in and know where it came from.” he said.