Rwanda - Kinigazi
Rwanda - Kinigazi
This is the first time in over 20 years that we have made a conscious effort to import coffee from Rwanda. I was reflecting upon why this was the case and checked out one of my favourite reference books written by the renowned author of all things coffee, Kenneth David. I noticed that in his book “A guide to buying, brewing and enjoying coffee” published in 2001 there is no mention of Rwanda as an exporting nation.
The genocide that took place in the mid 1990s in which upward of 1,000,000 people lost their lives clearly had a huge economic impact on Rwanda and although by the early 2000s there was recognition that coffee from this region was special, it has taken time for all the necessary investment to bear fruit.
So onto the coffee that now sits in our store here in Jersey. The varietal is Jackson Bourbon, a combination of local and international cultivars. The Kinigazi lot is a separation from amongst the 633 farmers that are currently using the Kinini washing station, chosen from trees at altitudes of 1950 – 2200 metres. The highest altitudes have gradually found their picking season extending. In part this is due to the quality programme Kinini have introduced, providing fertilizer where needed, but more importantly creating a network and introductions to existing cooperatives, as well as using an innovative satellite tracking system that measures the leaf reflection to forewarn of any damage or pest infestation. This enables them to get to the area and deal with the problem before it has an impact on the cup.
The coffee is processed using a “washed” method and, as is common practice in many African countries, the coffee is dried on raised beds. The whole process is carefully monitored to ensure that the quality of the coffee is not compromised.
We have chosen to roast this coffee light medium which results in very enjoyable grapefruit and red berry notes with a light caramel finish. Particularly delicious as a filter coffee.