Rwanda Nyungwe Coffee
Rwanda Nyungwe Coffee
A SWEET AND FRUITY COFFEE WITH FLAVOURS OF CHERRY, COLA CUBES AND LIQUEUR CHOCOLATE.
ALTITUDE – 1700 MASL
LOCATION – NYAMASHEKE DISTRICT, WESTERN PROVINCE
PREPARATION – NATURAL
VARIETY – RED BOURBON
Since Rwanda Trading Company took on Nyungwe, initial investments have been made in a rebuilding much of the washing station infrastructure with the inclusion of a brand new Penagos eco-pulper which uses 80% less water than the previous machines. Nyungwe washing station currently serves some 546 smallholder coffee farmers who grow bourbon at altitudes of between 1,660 and 2,100 masl. Some farmers are located up to 10km from the station and as such 12 collection points have been established in order to reduce transportation difficulties for the growers. This also protects the quality of the freshly picked cherry by reducing the possibility of fermentation before pulping at the station takes place.
The coffee is handpicked by the smallholder members and delivered to the Nyungwe washing station where it is pulped. This initially separates the dense beans from the immature unripe beans before going into fermentation tanks for around 12 hours. Once the fermentation process is completed, the beans enter the washing channels where floaters are separated further and the dense beans are cleaned of mucilage. The washed beans will then enter soaking tanks where they can sit under clean water for between 18 and 24 hours. This soaking process allows amino acids and proteins in the cellular structure of each bean to develop, which results in higher levels of acidity and complex fruit flavours in the cup.
The beans are then transferred to the initial drying tables where hand sorting for defects begins - unripe beans are supposedly more visible whilst the beans are still damp. This 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 of the drying period (depending on weather and temperature). The dry parchment coffee is then rested for around 1 month before being milled, sorted for defects and then immediately packed into GrainPro for export. The farmers receive two payments for their coffee; an initial payment when the cherry is delivered, followed by an end of season bonus when a further payment is made depending on the prices that have been achieved for their coffee.