FLAVOUR NOTES: Grapefruit, Blackcurrant & Elderflower
PRODUCED BY: Remera Washing Station
REGION: Nyamagabe, Southern Province
ALTITUDE: 1750 - 2100 masl
VARIETAL: Red Bourbon
Also known as the 'land of a thousand hills' for its breathtaking landscapes, Rwanda's coffee has transformed into some of the most sought-after in the world, thanks to its ideal coffee farming conditions of fertile volcanic soil, high altitudes and regular rainfall.
Located in the Nyamagabe district in Rwanda's Southern Province, this coffee was produced by 40 woman-owned farms, each belonging to the Mutegarugorikundakawa Group, translating as ‘Women Love Coffee. This group was formed to actively encourage women to work together to farm coffee as a source of income.
The Remera Washing Station was founded in 2003 by Epiphanie Mukashyaka, a dynamic businesswoman and a source of inspiration to countless other female entrepreneurs in Rwanda’s coffee sector and beyond.
The majority of the smallholder farmers in the area have an average of only 300 coffee trees (less than a quarter of a hectare) and use some of their land to cultivate other crops such as maize and beans to feed themselves and their families.
Exceptional care is taken during the processing stage. Cherries are hand-picked only when fully ripe and pulped that same evening using a mechanical pulper that divides the beans into three grades by weight.
After pulping, the coffee is fermented overnight (for around 12-18 hours) and then graded again using flotation channels that sort the coffee by weight. The wet parchment is then soaked in water for around 24 hours to stabilise moisture content.
As at most washing stations in Rwanda, women do the majority of the hand sorting. This takes place in two stages - on the covered pre-drying tables and on the drying tables. Washed beans are moved from the wet fermentation tanks onto the pre-drying tables, where they are intensively sorted under shade for around six hours.
Next, the beans are moved onto the washing station’s extensive drying tables for around 14 days where they are sorted again for defects, turned regularly and protected from rain and the midday sun by covers, ensuring both even drying and the removal of any damaged beans.
After reaching 11% humidity, the coffee is then stored in parchment in Sovu’s purpose-built warehouse prior to final dry-milling and hand-sorting at the Cooperative’s brand new dry mill in Kigali.
*Proceeds from this coffee sale will be donated to Project Waterfall.