Producer: Edmond Kanyamibwa
Origin: Nyamasheke, Western Province
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Altitude: 1545 metres above sea level
Flavours: Cedar, Red Apple, Plum and Yellow fruits.
Cup Score: 85.75
Harvest: March-July (Arrival to UK 25th November 2019)
Importer: Falcon Coffees
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, with an average of approximately 180 trees each. Coffee is grown in most parts of the country, with particularly large concentrations along Lake Kivu in the west and 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 late May / early June.
For Edmond Kanyamibwa, the owner of Karambi Mtn coffee, quality comes before everything else. Edmond built his first washing station in 2014.
He received good feedback on his processing and focused on improving the facilities at his washing station and expanding its capacity. At the end of the 2015 season, as he toured around his home village, he found an area with good coffee farms, but there was no washing station to help farmers process their cherries for good quality. He built Karambi Coffee washing station and operated it that following season. His experience in managing wet mills helped him to deliver high quality washed coffees.
At the station, the cherry is delivered, floated and separated before then being pulped and fermented until the mucilage is loose enough to be washed off. From here the coffee is then washed in the grading channels before being transferred to the raised beds for 10-14 days to dry to 11% moisture.
Filter & Espresso