The coffee cherry or more precisely drupe, grows to be composed of two seeds facing each other. What we get as roasters is those seeds usually referred as beans (even if they aren't) because of their shape. Sometimes, mother nature gives us what we believe to be imperfections thrown away for ages : peaberries... which are seeds that were alone in the fruit. It's only since few years that the specialty coffee market has started to be interested in those, and now more and more facilities producing high grades lots are giving value to those beans by taking care of them separately.
Leo Fidele is the owner of Cyato, a washing station located in the Western district of Nyamasheke at 1930 masl.
Before starting his own business, Leo gained extensive experience across the coffee industry in Rwanda. He initially learned about coffee through working in buying and selling low qualities of coffee, and then later through managing a similar project. Unlike his father, Leo choose to produce mainly fully washed coffee while his family is more famous for producing natural on different locations than Cyato.
Cyato is only two years old, which he has operated successfully from the beginning processing 240 tons of cherry to a good standard of quality.
Nyamasheke - Western Province, Rwanda
Old red bourbon cultivars
Local small-scale farmers which deliver cherries themselves
Cherries are hand sorted for unripe, overripe and floaters by the farmers before they go into production, by the mean of a tank full of water. Those defect are all floating at the surface and easily removed. While some station don't buy those defects, Cyato does process them separately as lower grade coffee if the farm wish to.
Coffees are all processed using a Penagos Eco-pulper to remove skin and pulp leaving a good part of the mucilage still on.
The coffee is sun dried for about 10 to 14 days on African drying beds. The drying is managed using some shade nets and plastic sheets during midday and at night
Once dried, the coffee is sent to dry-mills. Those companies exist to post-process the raw product : First to remove the parchement itself, second to remove visual defects using based on color and density, third to make grades and fourth to pack the coffee in the desired way. In our case, the lot is a peaberry which means that when graded, a special shaped sieve for peaberries has been splitting the oblong peaberries from the bigger, round beans.