Rwanda Buliza Micro Lot

Varietals: Bourbon
Processing: Fully washed
Owner: Abokamu Coop, 189 small holders
Altitude: 1600-2000 m.a.s.l
District: Rulindo
Region: North Rwanda

The Producer/Farmer

Abokamu Cooperative is a small cooperative in Rulindo district, in mountainous North Rwanda, which works with Caferwa coffee processing factory. Rwanda coffee hasn’t been in the specialty coffee market too long. Thanks to political stability in the recent decade the coffee quality has slowly risen and Rwandan coffee is considered one of the uprising stars in the coffee world. The centre of for the Rulindo small-scale farmers is the Buliza Washing station owned by Caferwa. This is also the reason our coffee is called Buliza Micro Lot. When farmers deliver coffee cherries to washing station then Cafrewa provides several social programs to the community, including health care for the members of the cooperative as we training and fertilisers. Training has been key aspect that has helped to raise the quality of the coffee.

A farmer picks coffee bean cherries on the outskirts of Kigali, May 28, 2009. REUTERS/Hereward Holland (RWANDA ENVIRONMENT AGRICULTURE BUSINESS)

The Place

Rulindo district is very mountainous, containing Mount Kabuye (2700 m), an old volcano and highest mountain in Rwanda. The countryside is covered by grassland and small-scale farms, extending over rolling hills with areas of rugged mountains that extend southwest from a chain of volcanoes in the northeast. Our coffee comes from one of the most mountainious parts of the region. Thanks to its volcanic soils coffee gets its clean acidity, full body flavour, and chocolate and red berry aroma. Coffees grown in the high part of the region gets an average rainfall of 1250 mm per year. The Harvest season is between March and June.

Process

Buliza Washing station uses full washing method to process coffee cherries. Once the coffee has been harvested, it is brought to the cooperative wet mill. There the coffee is processed in four steps. First, harvested coffee cherries go to a pulping machine, which separates the bean from the fruit. The pulp is washed away and beans are fed to the fermentation tanks. Then, the beans stay in the fermentation tanks for 14 to 19 hours. Here the mucilage layer is broken down and the coffee’s flavour is naturally enhanced. After fermentation the beans are washed with clean river water to remove the sticky fluid that has come from the fermentation process. This process is repeated 5-6 times. Finally the washed coffee is taken on the hills of mountain, where it is spread on drying trays to dry naturally in the shade of the sun. Depending on the weather and the quality of the coffee, this is done for 2 to 3 days. After this the coffee is packaged and stored away from chemicals for 7 to 10 days to get thel last moisture content out before exporting.

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