This lot was produced by 111 smallholder producers who farm coffee in the villages surrounding Muganza washing station, in the district of Nyamagabe in Rwanda’s Southern Province. Established in 2005, Muganza is one of three washing stations owned and operated by the Koakaka Cooperative, whose members produce coffee along the edge of the Nyungwe rainforest. Like most of the coffee that is grown in Rwanda, this lot is 100% Red Bourbon varietal.
All of the members contributing to the Muganza washing station enjoy perfect conditions to grow exceptional coffee, with high elevations (averaging 1,800–2,000 metres above sea level), good rainfall (1,100–1,300mm annually), and steady temperatures averaging around 17–18°C.
As members of the cooperative, they are guaranteed a minimum price for their coffee cherries, and are paid a premium to ensure the very best quality cherries are delivered. In addition, producers receive a bonus that is directly linked to the quality and prices paid for the coffee.
This coffee was processed using the washed processing method at the Muganza Washing Station, using natural spring water from the surrounding mountains.
Members of the Koakaka Cooperative are trained to only select the very ripest coffee cherries from their trees. During the harvest, cherries are delivered daily to the Muganza Washing Station via foot, bicycle or driven by truck from a local pick-up point (they have 70 pick points in the surrounding area).
They are then sorted by weight and pulped on the same day—almost always in the evening—using a mechanical pulper that divides the beans into three grades. After pulping, the coffee is fermented overnight in tiled tanks (for 12–18 hours) without water and then graded again using floatation channels that sort the coffee by weight (heaviest usually being the best).
The beans are then soaked in clean water for a further 14 hours, before being moved to raised screens for ‘wet-sorting’ by hand.
The sorted beans are finally dried in the sun on raised screens (African beds) for two weeks. During this period, the coffee is turned several times a day to ensure the coffee dries evenly and consistently. It is also sorted constantly, with any defects removed.