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About

Rwanda Coffee Co Ltd is a Rwandan based company, established to collect, sort out and distribute the best coffee beans from Rwanda to other coffee loving continents, for a reasonable and fair price .

We collect coffee from single farms, estates and cooperatives and we work according the rules and guidelines of Fair Trade.(*)

When we taste a coffee that we like, we want to know where it comes from and who grows, picks and processes it.
We travel extensively throughout the year, visiting the producers and cooperatives with whom we currently work and looking for interesting varietals of coffee and new farms from which to buy.
During these visits we talk to farmers and cooperative members, learning more about the coffee they grow and process and the challenges that they face. We then look to establish a relationship with the grower and exporter of that coffee.

We believe that where such a relationship exists, quality, quantity and price requirements can be discussed in an open and equal way.
We see this as sustainable, fair and equal trade.

Not all coffee beans are handled the same way, but for a more flavorful brew, our farmers use a method called “wet processing.” Farmers harvest bright red coffee “cherries” at their peak ripeness like grapes, bursting with sugar and flavor from the hot summer sun. The beans are hand-sorted for the ripest berries, whose flesh is removed to reveal the bean inside. They’re fermented to remove the layer around the bean and then washed and dried. These green beans are now almost ready to roast.

But the final handling is the sorting of the beans and with our Rwandan coffee that is done by hand!
No machine can sort these beans like it is done in our warehouses, manually, bean by bean, and the result is a fruitier, smoother, brighter coffee.

Processing of coffee is the method converting the raw fruit of the coffee plant into the coffee. The cherry has the fruit or pulp removed leaving the seed or bean which is then dried. While all green coffee is processed, the method that is used varies and can have a significant effect on the flavor of roasted and brewed coffee.

Soil, altitude and climate affect coffee bushes as much as they do vines. For example, the three estates where San Agustin is produced are known for volcanic soil, high altitudes over 5,000 feet, and warm yet wet weather. All of this makes for a distinctive regional flavor.

You’ve heard of Arabica and Robusta, but coffee beans get more specific than that. Like grape varieties, different beans mean different body, aroma and flavor.

(*) Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries make better trading conditions and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as higher social and environmental standards. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries.
 

Some general statistics:

Coffee is grown by small scale coffee farmers estimated at 400.000 in number, with an average of 165 coffee trees per farmer;
Only Arabica coffee varieties are grown, with the predominance of bourbon varieties, and small amounts of Caturra and Catuai mixed in.
Bourbon types include ; POP3303/21; Jackson 2/1257; BM 139.
Altitude range from 1200 to 1800 meters above sea level;
Rainfall range from 900 to 2200 mm per annum;
Soils are generally good, with high yield potential for coffee. About 30% of soils under coffee cultivation are of volcanic origin;
Cultivated area under coffee farming: 28,000 hectares;
Flowering: September - October;
Harvesting season: March - July;
Wet processing methods;
Caffeine content: 1.3%;
 

Rwandan Coffee

Rwanda is blessed with particularly good coffee-growing conditions: high altitude, volcanic soil and plenty of sun and equatorial mist. “The coffees are wonderfully sweet, either bright with clear citric characteristics, or plush and full of berry and chocolate like flavors,” a major coffee roaster said. By riding booming demand in the developed world for specialty brews Rwanda has made premium coffee-growing a national priority and is achieving international recognition as a producer of some of the world’s best coffee.

The future is looking brighter for Rwanda, and coffee is playing a major role. By improving the quality of their coffee, many of Rwanda’s 500,000 coffee farmers have more than doubled their income. Coffee cooperatives are the keystone of improving quality.

It’s the quality and the story behind it that makes it special.