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Rwanda Kinini Spring Harvest

Cupping notes

Brandy, strawberry, tangerine, watermelon. Slightly lower in intensity compared to last year, but super sweet and clean.


The Northern Province in Rwanda is one of five that were created in 2006 as part of a government decentralization program designed to restructure administration locally. Containing an abundancy of interlocking undulate slopes and mountains, coffee here is frequently grown heavily intercropped on small farms and gardens hewn from the hillsides. Satellite technology is used to monitor leaf glare from the trees -any changes can be a sign of disease or infestation and early detection pays dividends when it comes to clean cups and good green.

In 2012, 38 of the 252 hectares were planted with Bourbon Mayaguez 139 seedlings, 2,000-2,500 in each hectare. This totalled nearly half a million new trees, and access to nurseries and supply of new trees continues. The cultivar itself most likely originated from the island of Reunion (The same place as where the original Bourbon mutation was first noted), together with Jackson that is also widely found in Rwanda, another Bourbon mutation. The third commonly found cultivar, Bourbon Mayaguez 71, could have come from Ethiopia, introduced via the Congo. Though there are now some new varietals being introduced to the country through such programs as World Coffee Research, the country still has Bourbon as the main cultivar.

Weather has proven changeable and inconsistent over recent years. Coupled with high to extremely high altitudes, this has led to a widening of the cropping period from late March or April (starting on the lower altitudes) right through to December for the highest plots. This lot is from the spring, or early harvest.

Coffee here is harvested from smallholders on the many hillsides above the washing station, and taken to local collection points for recording and transportation. All coffee harvested that day has to reach the washing station before 4pm to meet the strict quality criteria. Raised beds allow the cherry to be spread out and dried for 48 days at a depth of two inches, turning regularly to avoid over fermentation and allow even drying throughout the crop. Each raised bed comes with its own marker to ensure microlot traceability and yellow tarpaulin for quick covering in case of rain.

All Kinini coffees contribute to their funding of a health centre and school. You can read more about that here.

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June - August
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