Owner: Co-Operatively Owned
Region: Nyamasheke District, Southern Rwanda
Altitude: 1600-2000 masl
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Harvest Period: Mar-Jul
Processing: Wet Processed
Tasting Notes: Grapefruit hints with raisin, plum and cacao
Roasting Notes: Light -Medium to preserve the vibrancy.
Rwanda Gihombo Co Op - Red Bourbon- Per Kg
Gihombo wet mill is a privately owned washing station that was built in 2006, but only became fully functional in 2011. Located near the shores of Lake Kivu in the northern part of the Nyamasheke district, the station's cherry collection area ranges in altitude from 1600 to 2000 masl. All coffee is processed using a 800 kg/hr Penagos ecopulper, dry fermented for 12 hours, and then dried on raised beds for 15 to 22 days. Gihombo is supplied by a group of 320 farmers from the sectors surrounding the washing station and averages a production total of around 30 tons of parchment annually.
Grapefruit hints with raisin, plum and cacao
In Rwanda, coffee has brought hope for a better future since the dark days of Civil War that shook the country back in 1994. Coffee has been used as a vehicle for positive change in the years that have followed, and the country is now rightly heralded as a top producer of fine specialty coffee.
Coffee was introduced to Rwanda in 1903 by German missionaries. As a cash crop it received government backing but the focus was very much on quantity rather than quality. However, the impact of the world coffee crisis in the late 1990s, when prices fell for several years below the cost of production, caused many Rwandan coffee farmers to rethink their position. Working hand in hand with the Rwandan Coffee Board (OCIR Café), international NGOs such as USAID, the Gates Foundation, and other coffee-focused organisations, a specialty coffee sector was created in the early 2000s.
Rwanda is blessed with ideal coffee growing conditions that include high altitude, regular rainfall, volcanic soils with good organic structure and an abundance of Bourbon. The vast majority of Rwandan coffee is produced by smallholders of which there are thought to be around half a million, with parcels of land often not much larger than just one hectare per family, with an average of approximately 180 trees each. Coffee is grown in most parts of the country, with particularly large concentrations along Lake Kivu in the west and in the southern province. Rwandan smallholders organise themselves into cooperatives and share the services of centralised wet-mills – or washing stations as they are known locally. Flowering takes place between September and October and the harvest runs from March to July with shipments starting in late May / early June.