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 August through December.
Kageyo washing station is situated in the fertile highlands skirting Lake Kivu in the west of the country. It was established in 2009, when a cooperative of smallholder farmers received a loan to build a CPU where they could process their coffees. These smallholders grow coffee on small plots amongst the surrounding hills, where altitudes undulate between 1800 and 2000 meters. Prior to building the washing station, Kageyo co-op had produced only produced semi-washed coffee. Their first year of operation was 2010, where they processed 67 tons of coffee cherries, and miraculously, in the same year, Kageyo took 2nd place in the Cup of Excellence (COE) competition in Rwanda. The following year, Kageyo won the 2011 competition, representing an incredible achievement for the co-op of farmers and the washing station. However, despite their success at COE, the 2011 season was a struggle, with lower-than-usual yields making repaying their building loan extremely difficult.
In 2013, Kageyo began working with our origin partners - Rwanda Trading Company - in order to market their coffees to overseas buyers more effectively. RTC also offered to help with Kageyo's yield and production issues, which were holding the co-op back and hindering the group from capitalising on the high quality coffees that they had become known for through the COE. In 2015, agreed to purchase the washing station and eradicate the co-op's debt to third party lenders, whilst crucially also keeping the co-op structure in tact. It is a relationship that goes from strength to strength, and Falcon have secured approximately 50 bags of Kageyo's yearly output.
FSC-1368: Kageyo - Lot 0331
Profile: Honey, peach and grapefruit with a sparkling acidity and notes of tomato.
Cup Score: 86