Producer: Smallholder Farmers
Altitude: 1650-1850 metres above sea level
Process: Anaerobic Natural
Flavours: Cola, Guava, Prune
Where is it from?
In Rwanda, coffee has brought hope for a better future since the dark days of the Civil War that shook the country back in 1994. Coffee has been used as a vehicle for positive change in the years that have followed, and the country is now rightly heralded as a top producer of fine speciality coffee.
Coffee was introduced to Rwanda in 1903 by German missionaries. As a cash crop, it received government backing but the focus was very much on quantity rather than quality. However, the impact of the world coffee crisis in the late 1990s, when prices fell for several years below the cost of production, caused many Rwandan coffee farmers to rethink their position. Working hand in hand with the Rwandan Coffee Board (OCIR Café), international NGOs such as USAID, the Gates Foundation, and other coffee-focused organisations, a speciality coffee sector was created in the early 2000s.
Rwanda is blessed with ideal coffee growing conditions that include high altitude, regular rainfall, volcanic soils with good organic structure and an abundance of Bourbon.
The vast majority of Rwandan coffee is produced by smallholders of which there are thought to be around half a million with parcels of land often not much larger than just one hectare per family.
Coffee is grown in most parts of the country, with particularly large concentrations along Lake Kivu and in the southern province. Rwandan smallholders organise
themselves into cooperatives and share the services of centralised wet mills
or washing stations as they are known locally. Flowering takes place between
September and October and the harvest runs from March to July, with shipments starting in August through December
Gisanga is one of the best coffee-growing regions of Rwanda’s central plateau. The region varies from 1,650-1,850m above sea level with volcanic, sandy clay soils and cool temperatures. Like much of Rwanda - “the land of a thousand hills” - the terrain is mountainous, rugged and exceptionally beautiful. Rich volcanic soils, plentiful sunshine, and tropical rainfall provide exceptional conditions for the cultivation of arabica, and the Bourbon variety particularly excels in the high elevations of Rwanda’s mountains.
The natural process for this lot in augmented to include an extended cherry fermentation in sealed tanks (a low-oxygen environment.) After fermentation for 72 hours, the cherries are dried slowly on raised African beds for 6 weeks.
Filter & Espresso