Nyamasheke District, Southern Rwanda
||Many Small Holders
Mango and cherry chocolate with a creamy body, hints of hazelnuts and maple.
Rwanda is blessed with ideal coffee growing conditions that include high altitude, regular rainfall, volcanic soils with good organic structure and an abundance of Bourbon. The vast majority of Rwandan coffee is produced by small-holders of which there are thought to be around half a million with parcels of land often not much larger than just one hectare per family. Coffee is grown in most parts of the country, with particularly large concentrations along Lake Kivu and in the southern province. Rwandan small-holders organise themselves into cooperatives and share the services of centralised washing stations. Flowering takes place between September and October and the harvest runs from March to July.
The name Gitwe refers to a newly constructed washing station in Rwanda. Located in the Nyamasheke district at a very high altitude, Gitwe is surrounded by hills covered by green coffee trees, and the volcanic soil off the shores of Lake Kivu, makes this coffee some of the finest in the country.
There are 800 farmers in total who are delivering to the station, where the cherries are floated so any defects are separated and removed. The coffee is then placed on raised African beds at about 2 cm of thickness and dried for up to 30 days with regular turning each hour and covered at night.
The coffee is then left to rest before being transported to Kigali where it is milled and prepped ready for shipment to Pilgrims Coffee House on Holy Island!