Origin type: Mill
Variety: Red Bourbon
Processing: Fully washed
Cup: Sweet, nectarin, cranberries, red currants and red grapes. Juicy and citric, balanced .
Origin: Gihombo Washing Station
Communal Smallholder Farmers
Gihombo is a privately-owned washing station built in 2006 on the shore line of lake Kivu in the Northern part of Nyamasheke. It sits at 1800 masl, but the area across which cherry is collected from ranges between 1600 to 2000 masl. The washing station only became operational in 2011, and currently has an average production of 30 tons of parchment annually.
Picking and selection
The season for Rwanda can run from March through to August, but for the most part we are finding our selections coming from May to July picking of cherry. This can always shift a little depending on the weather and the altitude the coffee is being grown at.
Farms are generally very small, families that are having some land with coffee trees and who take care of the plants and pick the cherries themselves. Usually they will also have some subsistence farming, there are occasionally farmers with more land.
There are 320 smallholder farmers in the sectors surrounding Gihombo that deliver their cherry to the washing station for processing.
Competition for cherry can be pretty tough, farmers can deliver to whichever washing station they want. Maintaining a good supply of cherry is dependent on the relationships with farmers and being able to offer competitive pricing, his roots and history in this community helps strengthen these relationships.
They have very strict routines for cherry reception and sorting, cherry delivered by farmers must be sorted by the farmers themselves, if this is not done sufficiently there are staff who will do further sorting. The cherry are placed in a tank prior to pulping where floaters are removed, all of the cherry sorted out that is unripe’s or over ripe’s will be processed separately as lower grade coffee.
Fermentation, washing and drying
The climate through most of the season in Rwanda is relatively cool, which assists in controlling the fermentation process. A Penagos eco pulper is used here to remove the skin, pulp and 70% of the mucilage. The coffee is then dry fermented for 12 hours. After this the parchment dried on raised beds.
The parchment is dried on African drying beds for up to 22 days, the parchment is covered by shade net during midday intense sun, during any rain and at night.