Nyungwe PB, Washed, Nyamasheke, Rwanda (350g)

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Nyungwe PB, Washed, Nyamasheke, Rwanda (350g)

from 13.00

complex, tea-like, caramel and milk chocolate

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Origin: Nyungwe Washing Station

Communal smallholder farmers

Nyungwe Forest is a rain forest in Southern Rwanda, probably the best preserved mountain rainforest in central Africa. Nyungwe washing station is situated in the Nyamasheke district in the South West of Rwanda, this area is known for producing some great coffees.

Much of the reason for the quality produced by Nyungwe washing station is believed to be because of the higher altitudes of this region, farmers delivering coffee here are at altitudes around 1850 masl.

The washing station was built in 2006, but it was not until it came under new ownership in 2013 and became operational under these owners in March 2014 that it began to reach its potential. There is a strong programme in place now for working with the farmers and supporting their ability to produce better coffee.

Picking and selection

The season for Rwanda can run from March through to August, but for the most part we are finding our selections coming from May to July picking of cherry. This can always shift a little depending on the weather and the altitude the coffee is being grown at.

Farms are generally very small, families that are having some land with coffee trees and who take care of the plants and pick the cherries themselves. Usually they will also have some subsistence farming, there are occasionally farmers with more land.

There are around 2000 farmers in the local community delivering cherry to Nyungwe washing station for processing.

Competition for cherry can be pretty tough, farmers can deliver to whichever washing station they want. Maintaining a good supply of cherry is dependent on the relationships Nyungwe has with farmers and being able to offer competitive pricing. The support that they are able to offer both in terms of training on agronomy and investment in the community by offering interest-free loans on school fees helps to build good relationships with local farmers.

Cherry reception

Farmers deliver their cherry at the reception area of the washing station, where it will be assessed to ensure adequate selective picking and sorting has been conducted. If the cherry requires further sorting the farmer will be asked to do so, before the cherry is allowed to be pulped.

The cherry are placed in a tank prior to pulping where floaters are removed, all of the cherry sorted out that is unripe’s or over ripe’s will be processed separately as lower grade coffee.

Fermentation, washing and drying

The climate through most of the season in Rwanda is relatively cool, which assists in controlling the fermentation process. The coffee is pulped and then fermented. After this the parchment is graded and washed in channels, it is separated into two grades based on density before being soaked under clean water in tanks for up to 16 hours.

The parchment is initially taken to pre-drying tables, which are under shade, and where while the parchment is still wet, a lot of hand sorting is done as it is much easier to see defects at this point. The parchment is dried on African drying beds for up to 15 days, the parchment is covered by shade net during midday intense sun, during any rain and at night.