This coffee is another natural, and has been praised worldwide for its spectacular quality and taste. It was given the ‘Coffee Lovers Award’ after 1500 people voted for it in 2018. It’s 100% of the Bourbon variety, and it’s washed in Ngororero Washing Station.
The washing station
Ngororero is believed to be a washing station to keep an eye on (if that’s something you’re into). It has very high quality standards, but it has to accept most of the cherry that’s delivered, in order to stay competitive. Otherwise farmers will just go to a different nearby washing station in order to avoid sorting cherry themselves. As is traditional with Naturals, the washing staff remove the lower quality cherry via floatation, and afterwards, specially trained coffee ninjas visually inspect the remaining cherry for any defects. After this, the cherry is spread out on drying tables, and they’re left to dry for about 3 weeks on raised beds.
Coffee in Rwanda has not been a smooth ride. In the last decade of the 20th Century, Rwanda experienced a horrific genocide, killing more than 800,000 people in under 100 days; this almost destroyed Rwanda’s coffee sector. However, since then, coffee production has been key to the economy’s recovery. Thanks to strong government support and liberal trade rules, Rwanda is one of the most stable countries in the region. There are no large coffee estates in the region; instead most coffee is grown by over 400,000 smallholders, each owning less than a quarter of a hectare.
Most of Rwanda’s coffee is Arabica, and is almost all Red Bourbon variety. It’s grown at altitudes between 1,600 – 2000 metres above sea level by farms that have on average 200 trees each.
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