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 smallholders 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 smallholders organise themselves into cooperatives and share the services of centralised wet-mills – or washing stations as they are known locally. Flowering takes place between September and October and the harvest runs from March to July, with shipments starting in late May, early June.
Tumba coffee washing station is located in the northern province of Rwanda, a region known for producing some of the finest coffee in the country. Tumba was established in 2007 by 3 private investors, and is now owned by Venuste Mugiraneza, the only founding member who was a local inhabitant. A former teacher, Venuste is very passionate about coffee and has developed his experience and expertise over the past 10 years. As a local resident, he is also aware of many hurdles coffee farmers can face, so he has been investing in farmer extension services. He works tirelessly to keep the station in a good condition so to continue to deliver perfect quality and support the farmers he works with.
RULINDO DISTRICT, NORTHERN PROVINCE
Cherries are pulped using a Penagos mounted on a thermic engine using a small amount of water.
Dry fermentation in tank is increased by workers who step on it. They traditionally dance and sing doing it.
Coffee stay in tank for 10-12 hours.
Coffee is dried on african beds under aerated greenhouses for two weeks and sometimes three because it usually happens during the wet season. Coffee is raked everyday to insure an even drying.
They stop when coffee is 13% moisture.