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Rwanda Twongere Kawa

Cupping notes

Hibiscus, sour cherry, vanilla, cranberry.


A country that is predominantly young and rural in population, Rwanda has one of the highest population densities in Africa and is one of the very few countries with a female majority in government. The Provinces were reorganized in 2006, reducing twelve to five, and reducing 106 districts in to thirty. Gakenke lies in the southern part of the Northern District of Rwanda, between the Southern Province and Lake Ruhondo. The Twongerekawa Coko cooperative, formed of 134 producers of which 96 are female, lies south of the Baramba river.

Comprised of numerous hills stretching like interlocking fingers across the land, elevation is often very high, and the winding roads add complexity to the transportation of the gathered cherries to the washing station. Coffee is commonly grown by smallholders who heavily rely on communal collection points for the cherry to be transported quickly and efficiently to the local washing station. Infrastructure therefore plays a large part in the effectiveness of this. There are two wet and dry seasons in the country, with good quality coffee available over a large harvest season, though the recent changes in rainfall patterns caused by climate change have led to flooding and landslides, causing the closure of roads and destruction of bridges.

Coffee here, once picked goes through a hand sorting on covered tables to hide the effects of the sun. After an initial washing and pulping, the beans are subject to a 24-hour double fermentation process before being dried on raised beds and stored in a new ventilated warehouse. Left over pulp is distributed back to the farmers for use as compost, with the older coffee store now utilised for handicraft and sewing classes to provide an alternative income stream. Dry milling is provided at NAEB (National Agricultural Export Development Board) in Kigali, in order to process and package the coffee.

With a countrywide crop predominantly formed of Bourbon, this can be broken down further to find BM139 and BM71 as the common plantings in the country. Introduced from the collection of Mayaguez in Puerto Rico to the germplasm collection in Mulungu, and from there to Rwanda in the early 1950’s, the varietal has played an important part in new selections and releases.

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Fully washed
1800 - 2200m
March - August
SCA score

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