Cocoa Nibs - Blood Orange - Cranberry
Espresso - Filter - Cafetiere - Aeropress - Chemex - Hario V60 - Syphon - Stovetop
Rwanda produces some outstanding coffees and this Coshaco – the name of the local washing station, is no exception.
In the cup you can expect a juicy and rounded acidic profile, syrupy body with notes of blood orange and cranberries up front and lingering cocoa-nuances on the finish.
Coshaco washing station is located in the Nyamasheke District and services farmers who grow coffee at altitudes between 1600 and 1750 metres above sea level. The station was first built and managed by a cooperative with the support of TechnoServe in 2009. The cooperative, made up of 160 members, operated the station for 4 years, but poor management did not allow for profitability.
In 2014, one of the members David Senzira, agreed with the cooperative to rent out the station and manage it privately. Since then, he has been able to achieve profits every year, allowing him to make second payments to farmers and expand the station’s capacity. David is able to employ most of the cooperative members, and he processed over 250 tons of cherries this past season. Processing is done on a 3 disc McKinnon pulper, before the coffee is dry fermented for 12 hours, wet soaked for 9 hours and then density graded using water channels before being dried on raised beds for an average of 18 days.
Rwanda’s recent, turbulent history, namely the horrendous genocide and ensuing civil war which shocked the world in 1994, is usually the first thing that springs to mind when you think of the country. However, to consider Rwanda and Rwandans only in terms of this tragedy, would be a shame and a stigmatised view, as it is both an incredibly beautiful and culturally-rich nation.
In Rwanda coffee has brought hope for a better future since those dark days and the country is now rightly heralded as a top producer of fine, speciality coffee. Coffee was introduced to Rwanda in 1903 by German missionaries as a cash crop. It received government backing but the focus was very much on quantity rather than quality. However the impact of the world coffee crisis in the late 1990s; when commodity prices fell for several years below the cost of production, caused many Rwandan coffee farmers to rethink their position.
Working hand in hand with the Rwandan Coffee Board (OCIR Café), international NGOs such as USAID, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and other coffee-focused organisations, a speciality coffee sector was created in the early 2000s.
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 varietals. 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 late May early June. All of the selected coffees have been supported by the NGO Technoserve organisations, whose mission is to empower people in the developing world to build businesses that break the cycle of poverty. In coffee this is achieved by improving the quantity and quality of coffee they produce.
|Altitude:||1,600 to 1750 metres above sea level|
|Farm:||Coshaco Washing Station|
|Processing:||Washed and sun dried on raised African beds|
|RecommendedFor:||Espresso - Filter - Cafetiere - Aeropress - Chemex - Hario V60 - Syphon - Stovetop|