Coffee is picked and brought to the Kinini washing station (newly built in May, 2016) where it is separated from the other lots to be treated and de-pulped using a four disc McKinnon pulper. It is then fermented from between 5 to 20 hours, depending on the decision of the quality manager monitoring the fermentation. The coffee is then sun dried for an average of 15 days, depending on the intensity of the sun.
The Rebero lot is a separation from the 633 farmers that are currently using the Kinini washing station, chosen from trees grown on north facing slopes at altitudes of 1973masl and above. The terroir is provably excellent for producing coffee, with neighbouring areas producing Cup of Excellence winning coffees.
In 2012, 38 of the 252 hectares were planted with Bourbon Mayaguez 139 seedlings, 2,000-2,500 in each hectare. This totalled nearly half a million new trees, that are now cropping!
The cultivar itself most likely originated from the island of Reunion (the same place as where the original Bourbon mutation was first noted), together with Jackson that is also widely found in Rwanda, and a bourbon mutation. The third commonly found cultivar, Bourbon Mayaguez 71, could have come from Ethiopia, introduced via the Congo.
Rwanda is a small landlocked nation in East Africa. Consisting of a very young population predominantly either Hutu or Tutsi, it is a nation of considerable density. Whilst most of its population habit rural areas, and engage in subsistence farming. Under the leadership of Paul Kagame, with the backing of the United Nations and many international donors, Rwanda has begun many economic development programs to boost and diversify its predominantly agricultural based economy. Tea and coffee remain the largest exports, but tourism is also helping to boost this economy.
ABOUT RWANDAN COFFEE
The coffee story in Rwanda is one of highs and lows. First introduced by the Belgian Colonialists in the 1930’s, coffee was grown successfully in Rwanda until the 1980’s when a glut of production saw the local price collapse. This was shortly followed by the 1994 genocide which further destroyed the agricultural output of the tiny great lakes nation. But the Land of a thousand hills has been reconciled, and thanks to coffee, it is booming. Substantial investment in education thanks to bodies such as Techno serve have re-educated coffee farmers. This investment in knowledge and support has created a micro origin of specialty producers. Prices have risen as accordingly, and now many cooperatives operating in the Rwandan highlands can count on strong support from across the globe for their prized, moderately acidic coffee. Flavours of dried fruits – dates and raisins as well as stone fruits such as nectarine and peach give these coffees a special place in the world of specialty coffee.