Varietal: Bourbon & Typica
Altitude: 1,400-1,900 m
Cetification: Smallholder Farms
Processing: Fully Washed
Cupping Score: 83
Tasting Notes: An extremely smooth, well balanced coffee and a beautifully bright and sweet cup. Full, black tea-like body with fruity & floral notes and hints of cranberries, cinnamon and vanilla.
Rwanda Inzovu - Per Kg
Rwanda Trading Company was established in 2009 as a vehicle for positive social impact. They are committed to securing economic freedom and security for smallholder farmers by building resilient, transparent supply chains.
They believe that profitable and ethical business go hand in hand. Their model is built on trust and communication. From the outset, they have established partnerships with farmers to help them in the field and to work with them to create stability and mitigate risk.
They focus on quality and invest in production. RTC offer financial literacy, agribusiness management and agronomy training programs to increase yield and keep them operational, profitable and healthy. They oversee milling, processing and quality control and provide access to the futures market to secure the best prices for farmers.
It’s a highly collaborative effort that generates long-term economic stability from the ground up.
Their headquarters and dry mill are in Kigali where the majority of their 250 full-time and 500 seasonal employees work. RTC processes and exports 25% of Rwanda’s yearly coffee production. They own and operate sixteen wet milling stations and work directly with farmers throughout Rwanda – buying, milling, processing and marketing their coffees.
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.
Today Rwanda is Africa’s ninth largest Arabica coffee producer with about 450,000 small farms which average less than one hectare in size (about 165 coffee trees per coffee farmer) totaling about 28,000 hectares in coffee cultivation. Most of the green coffee is wet processed often at communal washing stations used by numerous coffee farmers.