Rwanda | Victoria Mukamurenzi

Regular price $26.00
Unit price
per 

 

Region: Northern Province
Washing Station: Ruli
Altitude: 2,000 metres above sea level
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Process: Washed
Producer: Victoria Mukamurenzi
Washing Station Owner: Dukunde Kawa Cooperative
Sourcing Partner: Melbourne Coffee Merchants

Our first fresh crop Rwandan feature of the season. This single producer lot is characterised by intense sweetness, juicy body and fruited complexity. 

Expect notes of caramel fudge, rose hip, balanced by hints of orange blossom and acidity of sweet red apple. 

Recommended for all brew methods.

Origin Story
Single producer micro-lots like this one are extremely rare, especially from such a small producer (Victoria owns 216 trees). One of the reasons this lot separation is possible is that Victoria is a member of the Dukunde Kawa Cooperative, who own their own dry mill where they can process smaller lots individually, whilst minimising cost and maintaining excellent quality standards.

As the daughter of farmers, Victoria began working in coffee from a very young age – learning the ropes from the 1980s. She was always passionate about coffee, and as she grew up, she became more involved with the farm’s activities until she eventually found job at a coffee nursery, where she would look after seedlings and young coffee trees.

With the forming of cooperatives like Dukunde Kawa, farmers were provided with the support, education and resources necessary to adopt better farming practices, and processing moved to centralised washing stations – where shared infrastructure, equipment and adequate labour both minimised the workload for individuals and dramatically improved the coffee’s quality.

With the income generated from coffee, Victoria and her husband have built their home and raised three children. At their property, the pair have planted crops like beans, cassava, potatoes and corn, and raise rabbits. Today, Victoria has her own plot of coffee with 216 trees, which she tends to with the support of her fellow women producers.
Processing
The team at Dukunde Kawa takes a huge amount of care in processing its coffee. All members of the cooperative are trained to only select ripe coffee cherries from their trees.

On delivery the cherries are inspected and sorted by hand to ensure only the very ripest cherries are processed. They are then sorted by weight (and any floaters are removed) by a Pinhalense machine. They are then pulped on the same day – usually in the evening – using a mechanical pulper that divides the beans into three grades by weight, with the heaviest, A1, usually having the highest cup quality.

After pulping, the coffee is fermented overnight for around 12–18 hours and then graded again using floatation channels that sort the coffee by weight. The beans are then soaked for a further 24 hours, before being moved to raised screens for ‘wet sorting’ by hand.

As with most washing stations in Rwanda, women do the majority of hand-sorting. This takes place in two stages – on the covered pre-drying tables and on the drying tables. Washed beans are moved from the wet fermentation tanks onto the pre-drying tables, where they are intensively sorted under shade for around six hours. The idea is that greens (unripe beans) are still visible when the beans are damp, while the roofs over the tables protect the beans from the direct sunlight.

Next, the beans are moved onto the washing station’s extensive raised drying tables (‘African beds’) for around two weeks, where they are sorted again for defects, turned regularly and protected from rain and the midday sun by covers, ensuring both even drying and the removal of any damaged or defective beans. During this period the coffee is also turned several times a day by hand to ensure the coffee dries evenly and consistently.

After reaching 11% humidity, the coffee is then transported to Dukunde Kawa’s purpose-built warehouse prior to final dry-milling and hand sorting at the cooperative’s dry mill.