- Origin: Rwanda
- Region: Western Province
- Town: Rusizi
- Washing Station: Nyakarenzo
- Farmer: 542 smallholders
- Crop: 2023
- Altitude: 1500-1900m
- Variety: Red Bourbon
- Processing: Washed
A note from our supplier, Sucafina:
Nyakarenzo washing station lies in the Rusizi District, Rwanda’s most southwestern region. The region borders the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi and has a shoreline along Lake Kivu. The washing station lies close to the Cyamudongo natural highland forest.
The station sits much lower than the farms that produce its coffee. This makes it easier for the producers to carry their coffee cherries downhill after the day’s harvest. Placing the station down the hill also facilitates the water supply to the station from the nearby river network. The orientation of the farms in the hills means that the coffee trees catch a lot more sun hours than the washing station itself. The drying field of the station has less direct exposure to sunlight, which slows down the coffee drying process. In some circumstances, slow drying can cause difficulties, presenting opportunities for fungal or bacterial infection. However, at Nyakarenzo very careful care is taken to ensure even drying and good aeration through the process.
Due to the station’s lower altitude, drying capacity at Nyakarenzo is limited. As a result of this smaller capacity, the station has pursued specialty production. With a smaller production size, the quality of production is easier to control. The station produces high-quality lots that fetch high prices that keep the station running year after year.
Nyakarenzo dedicates a significant focus on high-quality cherry selection, beginning at intake. The manager who oversees cherry intake controls which cherries are accepted for processing and allows only the ripest cherry with no quality issues. The manager checks the quality of the cherry by floating it. Since not all defects are visible, flotation enables the manager to check for under-developed beans and other potential defects. Then, they use visual inspection to check for any insect damage or other defects. The manager then notes the quality of the batch. Farmers receive payment according to their cherry’s quality and volume. This incentivizes careful cherry harvesting.
After sorting takes place, cherries are pulped on a pulper equipped with a demucilager. The beans are then fermented in concrete tanks for 12 to 24 hours and then washed in clean water. Following fermentation, the beans pass through a washing and grading channel. As the beans flow through, wooden bars that are laid across the canal prevent beans of specific densities from passing through. These bars are spaced across the channel. While the first blockade stops the most-dense beans, the next is arranged to stop the second most-dense beans and so on. In total, the process separates the parchment into five different grades. Only the heaviest beans are selected for microlot production. After washing and grading, the coffee is delivered to dry on raised beds. Grades and day lots are kept separate in order to preserve quality and traceability. Coffee is sorted again to remove any damaged or suspect beans and is turned regularly to ensure even drying.
Our coffee comes in craft paper bags which contain a plastic liner on the inside to guarantee freshness of our coffee. Please dispose properly at your local plastic trash container. The Village Coffee is roasted fresh every week, and best consumed within four weeks after roast date. Store your coffee in a dry, dark and cool place, avoid the fridge.