This coffee comes from the Kabare Sector in the Eastern part of Rwanda known also as the Akagera region. It is 1 of 5 main coffee-growing areas in the country. It is characterized by a moderate climate with comparatively low rainfall, fertile, rich soil, and high to mid-lowlands over 1500 m.a.s.l. Due to such conditions, most farms in the surrounding area cultivate coffee or tea. The great majority of them are located at the foothills of Central Africa’s largest protected wetland – Akagera National Park, which is also the last remaining refuge for savannah-adapted species in Rwanda.
Over 95% of the coffee grown here is Bourbon. Akagera is located at lower altitudes than the other 4 regions, so its coffee is slightly lower in acidity. However, it boasts a sweet berry and spicy profile with strong floral notes.
Akagera Coffee Project was founded by Mr. Egide Murindababisha in 2016. Itis is a Social Private Enterprise in Kayonza District that deals with growing and producing quality coffee with high involvement in social activities. They work with 1150 local farmers that grow coffee at small family estates (1-2 ha) at altitudes from 1450 – 2400 m.a.s.l. All the beans are Rainforest Alliance certified, grown organic and have a high cupping score. Most of the coffee they produce is BM 139 – Bourbon Mayaguez – a vigorous and highly productive variety with very good cup quality. Besides, they have also started to grow RAB C15 which has shown even bigger resistance to diseases. Harvested cherries are processed at Akagera or Mukama Washing Station.
ACP has tremendously impacted the local communities through youth and women employments, contribution to farmer’s income and community involvement through social and economic projects. Besides, they provide more than 100,000 new coffee seedlings to growers every year. That allows to involve more farmers and increase the yield every season.
This is one of the usual coffee processes, but with a strict compliance with hygienic standards during harvesting.
Freshly picked coffee is prepared from 2 pm to 9 am. The washing process takes place the next morning. Coffee is transferred to a wet mill, where it is cleaned from floaters. The pulp is then separated from the bean using the depulpator machine.
Then the bean is dried to obtain 12% moisture. From each batch of dried coffee, a sample is sent to the quality control department to check the profile of taste and quality of coffee. Beans are stored in the bags for one or two months. Before sending for export, they are cleaned using a huller machine.