Producer: Smallholder producer
Cultivar: Red Borbon
Process: Anaerobic Natural
Altitude: 1800m
Harvest: May. – Aug.
Notes: Pineapple, white chocolate, banoffee
Roast: Filter


Rwanda is a 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’, Rwanda enjoys ideal coffee-growing conditions benefitting from 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. Today, the country enjoys a reputation for producing high quality coffee with distinctive flavour and taste profiles.

Gatare is one of the oldest washing stations in Rwanda. Dating back to 2003, it 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 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 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. The station employs seven full time staff with an additional 90 during the season, of which 80% are women.


Sourced through our friends at Falcon Specialty, we love this anaerobically fermented natural process lot from the Gatare washing station in Rwanda. Although this lot represents departure from the ‘classic’ washed Red Bourbon cup profile, we enjoy this coffee’s aromatics of pineapple and vanilla complemented by a rich, white chocolate sweetness. Roasted gently for filter, there is also a hint of banana in the finish that reminds us of a delicious banoffee pie!


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