Two Rwandan coffee brands, “Sholi” and “Abakunda Ikawa,” are among the most popular in Starbucks stores in China, according to information from the Rwandan Embassy in China. Samuel Abikunda, the Economic Attaché at the embassy, told The New Times that they recently had a chat with Starbucks officials on the side-lines of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, last week, who informed them about the competitiveness of the two brands. “Their General Manager said Rwandan coffee from Shori and Abakunda Ikawa is actually one of the most popular coffees in their stores right now. And they are planning to increase imports of our coffee,” Abikunda said. Starbucks Corporation is an American multinational chain of coffeehouses and roastery reserves headquartered in Seattle, Washington. It is the world's largest coffeehouse chain. The company currently operates more than 5,400 stores in over 200 cities in the Chinese mainland, but it is not clear how many of these sell Rwandan coffee currently. Rwanda exports various coffee products to China including ground coffee, instant coffee, and coffee beans. Some of these products are sold via online e-commerce platforms including T-mall and JD.com. According to information from Alibaba, a Chinese ecommerce company, on whose platforms Rwandan coffee is sold, last year, Chinese consumers bought up to 18 tonnes of Rwandan coffee online. About 4 months ago, Rwanda started exporting instant coffee to China, a new product from Rwanda to the Asian country, and according to Abikunda, the Chinese consumers have showcased good interest in it. “It is one of the products that are selling out quickly. We put it online on Alibaba’s online platforms among others, and it is getting more interest because it is easier to use, especially for people who are busy, for example those working in offices. Since we started selling coffee in China, we realised that not all Chinese consumers have time to grind coffee beans,” he said. David Ngarambe, the CEO of the Rwanda Farmers Coffee Company, said he is confident that Rwandan instant coffee will do a great job on the Chinese market, as it has been doing on the local one. “The Chinese market welcomed it well. It is a product that we introduced this year, so that means we have to wait and see how it responds on the market. We are waiting to see the consistency,” he noted. In general, Rwanda exports more than 80 per cent of its coffee to foreign countries. Coffee is one of the largest export revenue earners for the country. Rwandan coffee, in the bean form, is mostly exported to Switzerland, the United States and Singapore, with primary African destinations being South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania.