Rwanda‘s history with coffee goes back to the Belgium colonial times. Much has changed since then, and today a quality Rwandan coffee is well sought after. The government in Rwanda has promoted investment in many sectors and as one of the most welcoming countries (in Africa) to foreign investors, the coffee sector in Rwanda has benefited.
Rwanda is called the country with a 1000 hills. Add the lakes and the moderate climate, and it is almost expected that quality coffee will come out.
Many of the co-operatives run with the latest technology and using up-to-date and modern methods. Even though the country is land locked, logistics out of Rwanda has also helped the popularity of Rwandan coffee.
One recurring issue though, has been the potato defect caused by a small local pest that gets into the coffee. The well run co-operatives have their methodologies to try and prevent any of this in their quality coffee, however concern over its perpetuation has always made us cautious with Rwandan coffees.
This is our first coffee from Muraho Trading. A result of a dream by two brothers.
From their website: “Muraho Trading Company (MTCo.) is the brainchild of two brothers who were raised to call Rwanda home. We are driven to showcase to the world what Rwanda specialty coffee is all about. However, not only the coffee but more importantly the people and country that have given us so much. Rwanda has come very far from the horrific genocide against the Tutsi that took place in 1994 to the striving country it is today. This unbelievable turnaround is a huge credit to the Rwandese people and signifies the true meaning of HOPE to the rest of the world.
“We are a young, innovative, trend-setting and fun company. With a focus of producing specialty coffees, we strongly believe in achieving something more personal in terms of the people, origin of Rwanda and showcasing to the world, the phenomenal quality of coffees this country has to offer.
“Here at MTCo. People ALWAYS come first! If this sounds like values you believe in and want to join our journey in making a REAL impact to our Muraho families through specialty coffee, then Hobe Hobe Hobe to you!”
From the Muraho Trading website:
“Gisheke coffee washing station (CWS) is the hidden gem of Rwanda. When Gisheke was purchased in September 2017, it was very run down and in a bad state. Between February and April 2018, it went through a major makeover in order to become what it is today – a truly stunning and idyllic station for processing top specialty coffees.
What makes Gisheke so special is that it is literally located in between two steep hills that point directly towards Lake Kivu, the beautiful Idjwi Island and also our neighbours to the west, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Idjwi Island is the second largest inland island in Africa. This setting makes the wind flow through the station the most ideal for processing and drying top quality natural processed coffees.
The only way to get to Gisheke is to hop on a local boat and glide through Lake Kivu. That’s right boat! The boat ride to the CWS is just simply mesmerising and unbelievably relaxing. Idjwi Island and DRC aside you pass through Mushungwe Island and its two little sister islands. All the coffee’s that are produced in these Islands are delivered by boat and processed in Gisheke. Around 40% of the coffees processed at Gisheke comes from Mushungwe Island.
Lastly, it is also very common to see the famous Lake Kivu cows greeting you in your boat as they swim passed to get their next meal in the surrounding islands. You heard right, we said swimming cows!
HOBE HOBE HOBE OUR GISHEKE FAMILY!“
The Gisheke washing station is managed by Josue Dusengiyumva, who overlooks all operations year round. The station currently hires 3 full-time staff
Full-time Staff: 3
Our Take on this Rwanda Gisheke
We were specifically looking for a natural when we were offered this coffee. While it is not a typical natural, it does have many interesting notes. The flavour characteristics may not jump out at you but we found the coffee has black cherry or dried blueberry, caramelized brown sugar and cocoa finish. The coffee is medium to full bodied.
|Region:||Nyamasheke District, Rwanda|
|Producers:||628 different producers contribute to the Gisheke station|
|Processing:||Naturally processed coffee, with regular agitation.|
|Cultivar:||Arabica Bourbon and Jackson.
|Altitude grown:||1650 – 1850 masl.|
|Characteristics:||Only just a 4-star complexity with berry fruit, subtle sweetness and lingering cocoa. The mouth feel is medium-to-full body. Berry more present in pour over.|
|Roast:||Medium charge with an extended soak. Followed by medium-high heat into browning. As first crack approaches, heat is decreased to allow for a just over a minute (or 10.5%) of development time.|
|Sourced from||Muraho Trading Company via Sevenoaks Trading.|
|FOB price||U$D 4.1 per pound.|
|Producer / Organisation||Gisheke CWS from 628 producers|
|lot size bought||1 x 30 kg which repacked into a sealed bucket|
|Relationship||This is our first coffee from this co-operative.|