Producer: Smallholder Producers
Cultivar: Red Bourbon
Harvest: March – May
Notes: Apricot, white chocolate, floral
Rwanda is a small landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley and borders other coffee producing countries including Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Affectionately called the ‘land of a thousand hills’, it enjoys ideal coffee-growing conditions with high elevations, regular rainfall, volcanic soils with good organic structure and an abundance of the celebrated variety Red Bourbon.
The vast majority of Rwandan coffee is produced by smallholder farmers, 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. Since the Civil War that shook the country in 1994, coffee has been regarded as an important socio-economic vehicle for positive change in the years that have followed. Today, the country enjoys a reputation for producing high quality coffee which has earned it a significant place at the table amongst Africa origins.
Gatare is one of the oldest washing stations in Rwanda, dating back to 2003, and has a reputation of one of the first stations to process high-quality coffee for export. Located in the Lyamasheke District of the Western province, the station is the station is surrounded by hills where an abundance of the Red Bourbon variety is cultivated.
Smallholder producers organize themselves into cooperatives and share the services of dry and wet mills. They are asked to deliver only selectively-picked cherries to the washing station where they are paid directly. Thanks to the relatively cool climate, the fermentation process is easier to control on raised drying beds. Producing both natural process and washed lots, Gatare has a large capacity for processing coffees and has competed in the Cup of Excellence competition many times – consistently ending up high in the table of winning lots.
Once of our most popular coffees last year was a natural process Red Bourbon from the same processing facility. So we jumped at the chance to source this washed process coffee through our friends at Falcon Specialty as a worthy follow-up to our offering from Rwanda. Roasted energetically for filter, this coffee has intense notes of sweet, juicy apricot with a smooth white chocolate aftertaste.