Nyamasheke district, Western province
Producer: Smallholder producers
Cultivar: Red Bourbon
Harvest: March – July
Notes: Tropical fruits, date & creamy
Rwanda is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley. One of the smallest countries on the African mainland (smaller than Alentejo-Portugal), it is located a few degrees south of the Equator. Is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is highly elevated, giving it the affectionate term ‘land of thousand hills’.
In Rwanda, coffee has brought hope for a better future since the Civil War that shook the country back in 1994. Coffee has been used as an important socio-economic vehicle for positive change in the years that have followed, and the country is now rightly regarded as a top producer of high-quality coffee.
Rwanda has ideal coffee growing conditions that include high altitude, regular rainfall, volcanic soils with good organic structure and an abundance of Bourbon coffee trees. Thankfully, the climate through most of the season in Rwanda is relatively cool, which assists in controlling the fermentation process on raised drying beds. Smallholders organize themselves into cooperatives and share the services of centralized wet and dry mills. Farmers are asked to ensure that they deliver only selectively picked cherries, and to sort what they have picked themselves – removing the under and overripe fruits. The cherries are then weighed and member farmers are paid directly.
Gatare is one the oldest processing stations in Rwanda, dating back to 2003. It has a long reputation, having been among the first stations to process very high-quality coffee for export. Located in Nyamasheke district of the Western province, the station is surrounded by hills covered by coffee trees intercropped with other subsistence crops. Gatare has competed in the Cup of Excellence competition many times, and consistently ends up high in the table of winning lots.
When we tasted this natural process Red Bourbon through our friends at Falcon Specialty, we jumped at the chance! It was love at sip and we are glad to have sourced a couple of sacks of this special lot. Roasted lightly for filter, this coffee has intense aromatics of tropical fruit and sweet date. It also has a thick, almost creamy mouthfeel that coats the mouth with an enjoyable long-lasting aftertaste.