Jolly Bean - Rwanda
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Smallholders at the Gitega Hills washing station in the Nyamagabe District of the Southern Province of Rwanda
1700 - 1900 masl
Notes of Mixed Berries, Rum and Dark Chocolate
SCA Score - 86
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. Coffee is grown in most parts of the country, with particularly large concentrations along Lake Kivu 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 August through December.
The coffee comes from the Gitega Hill’s in the Nyamagabe District, located in the southern province close to the Nyungwe Forest and the traced source of the Nile. This area is made up of a number of smallholder farms, with altitudes ranging from 1700 – 1900masl, this high altitude coupled with the incredibly rich volcanic soils in the area make for an excellent location for growing speciality coffee.
The beans are processed at the Gitega Hill’s washing station, a relatively new station established in 2015 by Bernard Uwitije. With years of experience in trading ordinary coffee, Bernard saw the potential for speciality coffee in this area and invested heavily in a new wet mill, fermentations tanks, drying beds and coffee pulping machines. In the first year of operation the station processed 150 tons of cherry, but this has been steadily increasing since and is well positioned for future growth.