About this coffee
Rwacof washing station lies in the high-altitude hills of the Muhazi District. The station, which sits at1,685 meters above sea level, receives coffee grown as high as 2,100 meters above sea level. The warm days and cool nights afforded by such high altitude helps cherry mature slowly and amass more sugars. The prime location is combined with exceptional agricultural practices, allowing Rwacof to produce some of the best coffee in Rwanda.
Harvest & post-harvest
Cherry is selectively hand picked by farmers and delivered to Macuba washing station. At intake, the station floats all cherry to remove any low-density cherry. Then, the high-density cherry is hand sortedto remove any visible defects. The coffee is then fermented in water from anearby stream for 24 hours. After this,parchment is washed in clean water and moved in to the washing-grading canal. Finally, the parchment is soaked for around 20 hours to improve quality and shelf life and to remove any remaining mucilage. Parchment will dry slowly for 3 to 4 weeks. In order to ensure even drying, the workers constantly move the coffee. After drying, they are taken to the dry mill, where the dried pulp is cleaned, the coffee beans are bagged and prepared for export.
Coffee in Rwanda
Despite its turbulent history, today Rwanda is one ofthe specialty coff ee world’s darlings – for good reason! German missionaries and settlers brought coffee to Rwanda in the early 1900s. Largescale coffee production was established during the 1930 & 1940s by the Belgian colonial government. Coffee production continued after the Belgian colonists left. By 1970, coffee had become the single largest export in Rwanda and accounted for 70% of total export revenue. Coffee was considered so valuable that, beginning in 1973, it was illegal to tear coffeetrees out of the ground.
Modern Rwanda is considered one of the most stable countries of the Middle-East African region. Since 2003, its economy has grown by 7-8% per year and coffee production has played a key role in this economic growth. Coffee has also played a role in Rwanda's significant advancements towards gender equality. New initiatives that cater to women and focus on helping them equip themselves with the tools and knowledge for farming have been changing the way women view themselves and interact with the world around them.
Today, smallholders propel the industry in Rwanda forward. The country doesn’t have any large estates. Most coffee is grown by the 400,000+ smallholders,who own less than a quarter of a hectare.