Muhondo is the largest and oldest of the three washing stations belonging to the Muhondo Coffee Company. Jean Nepomuscene Habyarimana, one of the two CEO’s, started as a farmer in 2008 with the Coko Farm. Five years later, they bought the Muhondo Washing Station. Muhondo is located in Gakenke District, in the northern region of Rwanda. The weather and soil conditions are ideal for coffee cultivation. The coffee receives sufficient rain in the months of October to May, grows slowly and thus unfolds a very special flavour profile and body.
In recent years, more and more small farmers from the Muhondo region have been investing in coffee. The income generated enables them to solve many of their problems, such as covering the cost of their children’s education, health insurance and caring for their families. Next to creating many jobs in this region, Muhondo really cares about its people. Farmers are not only supported in terms of logistics, seedlings, water supplies and fertilizers, but they also receive valuable training in agricultural practices and can apply for loans.
We have been visiting Wellars Karangwa, manager of Muhondo Washing Station, for the second time now. We were impressed by the processes and the excellent quality of the coffees. Muhondo Washing Station is one of the few in the country that uses Drying Shelves. Divided into three shelves each, the beans dry slowly and are protected from direct sunlight and rain. Through the two open sides, the wind can blow cool air on the coffee and dry it gently.
Mataba and Cyondo are the other two washing stations belonging to Muhondo Coffee Company. Mataba Washing Station is located in Bukonya District and is run by Solange, the station manager. The Washing Station is smaller, but the fertile soils and the location at 1750m offer ideal growing conditions.
In 2014, Muhondo was awarded first place in Cup of Excellence. Also, this year, they plan to submit some qualities to Cup of Excellence. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!