Rwanda’s first coffee was brought by German missionaries in 1904. After WWII, the German colony was then given to Belgium. Belgium is still the top country that Rwanda’s coffees are exported to. The Belgian rule included both high taxes on coffee and very little coffee infrastructure resulting in high volume and low quality. In the 1900s, widespread genocide resulted in the loss of over 1 million lives. Following the genocide, coffee helped get the country back on its feet. Foreign aid helped build coffee infrastructure like washing stations and the government was very open to the pursuit of higher quality coffee (and prices). It’s the only African country to have hosted a Cup of Excellence competition, which helps find the top quality coffees. Most of the coffees exported are fully washed Arabica.
Current Rwanda offering: Rwanda Karongi
Tasting Notes: Strong sweetness, orange blossom floral, pear, spice complexity, ultra clean finish
Farm Description: Gitesi is one of our importers favorite sites in Rwanda. Not only is it located in a beautiful valley, but the washing station looks clean, well-organized, and the leaders seem motivated and competent. The Gitesi site is at 1740 meters. The washing station fosters a relationship with the farmers by paying an additional dividend at the end of each season based on performance. Gitesi was started in 2005 and has been building capacity each year. Like much of Rwanda, the coffee is Bourbon variety. This lot was “built” by looking at all their day lot batches and combining the best ones. This coffee is part of our importers Farm Gate pricing program paying above Fair Trade.