Notes: Very rich and sweet with notes of tangerine and golden raisins followed by undertones of cocoa and vanilla
Location: Nyamasheke District, Western Province
Variety: Red Bourbon
Altitude: 1660-2100 Masl
Harvest: March - July
Story: The Nyungwe Washing Station sits at a lofty 1700 meters above sea level in the district of Nyamasheke in Western Rwanda. The station serves some 546 smallholder coffee farmers who grow bourbon coffee at altitudes of between 1660 and 2100 meters above sea level. Some of the farmers are up to 10km from the station so 12 collection points have been established in order to reduce transportation difficulties for the growers. This in turn also protects the quality of the freshly picked cherries by reducing the possibility of fermentation before pulping at the station takes place.
The washing station was recently purchased by the Rwandan Trading Company who saw that the station was poorly managed and operating well below its capacity to detriment of local producers. RTC have ushered in some fantastic transformations to the station and the surrounding area. In 2013 the group established an affordable finance project, agricultural training programs for local producers and interest-free education loans to its suppliers and their families.
The coffee is handpicked by the smallholder members and delivered to the Nyungwe washing station where it is pulped. The washed beans will then enter soaking tanks where they can sit under clean water for between 18 and 24 hours.
The beans are transferred to drying tables where hand sorting for defects begin – unripe beans are supposedly more visible whilst the beans are still damp. The first stage of drying can last around 6 hours before the beans are gathered and laid in thicker layers for the remaining 14-20 days (depending on weather and temperature). The dry parchment coffee is then rested for around 1 month before being milled, sorted for defects and packed for export.