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Fig · Buckwheat Honey · All Spice
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If you’ve ever eaten a Fig Newton, hopefully, you remember the balance of sweetness and soft texture of the cookie. That is the image that comes to mind when trying the first sip of this coffee. Its fig spread sweet, followed by herbaceous honey, and the finish rounds out to allspice.
Rwanda coffees, like most, are heavily influenced by their terroir, and this coffee is sweet like buckwheat honey but possesses spice qualities due to the loam soil it was grown in.
755+ smallholding farmers
Years of Purchase
Fig, Buckwheat Honey, All Spice
Coffee: 18 grams
Water: 216 grams
Total brew time: 2:30 minutes
The Nyamasheke district has the highest number of washing stations in all of Rwanda. The region lies along the Kivu Lake providing excellent conditions for coffee to grow. They have ranging altitudes, nutrient-dense soil, and a good amount of rainfall each year. All of these factors contribute to the overall quality and reasons why this coffee is so exceptional.
Karambi is located in the Karambi sector in the Nyamasheke district, Western province, and borders the Nyungwe Forest National Park. This washing station was built in 2016. Its altitude starts at 1700 meters and goes upwards to a vast 2000 meters above sea level.
Rwanda and Karambi specifically have about four months total for just their harvest. These months are quite packed with picking, processing, and drying their coffees. At peak harvest season, they have 120 staff members working together to make it all happen.
After the cherry is brought to the washing station, they go through a sorting process to isolate the ripe cherries, and any lower quality cherries are separated through flotation. It is then inspected by staff to isolate if there are visual defects. All of these practices are to ensure quality and support for all contributing members.
Post meticulous sorting, coffees are put through a de-puler/demucilager that will remove 80% of the mucilage before coffees are fermented for 10 hours. After this, they are laid out to dry on raised beds where an initial sorting to remove any imperfect beans, sifted to ensure even drying.
This cooperative had an initiative to grow and use natural fertilizer to fertilize pre and post-harvest. The process takes food waste and then uses larvae to enhance overall balance and fuel for the soil. They put bugs on top of the food compost to break down the food, and then they eat away and redeposit nutrients the soil will absorb. This is broken down after its many processing stages and then given back to farmers to use during their harvest seasons. We were able to pay more per pound, which gave money to this project. In total, we helped three farms with their natural fertilization project.