The Nyungwe Washing Station was acquired in 2014 by our sister company, Rwanda Trading Company. This presents us with some exciting opportunities around our ability to select top quality micro-lot coffees from high altitude communities and even carry out experimental work on processing – perhaps for the creation of honey and natural lots.
Since RTC took on Nyungwe, initial investments have been made in a rebuilding much of the washing station infrastructure with the inclusion of a brand new Penagos eco-pulper which uses 80% less water than the previous machines. Nyungwe washing station currently serves some 546 smallholder coffee farmers who grow bourbon at altitudes of between 1,660 and 2,100 masl. Some farmers are located up to 10km from the station and as such 12 collection points have been established in order to reduce transportation difficulties for the growers. This also protects the quality of the freshly picked cherry by reducing the possibility of fermentation before pulping at the station takes place.
The three natural lots we are offering from Nyungwe this season have been handpicked by smallholder members prior to sorting and separation.
The three lots have been dried for 5 weeks on raised beds. The process and moisture are very controlled to avoid over fermentation of the coffee. The lots differ is in the stage of the season at which the ripe cherries have been picked. Once dried to the perfect moisture content, they are then delivered to the mill where each lot is categorised and cupped to analyse the different flavour profiles inherent in each individual lot.
The farmers receive two payments for their coffee; an initial payment when the cherry is delivered, followed by an end of season bonus when a further payment is made depending on the prices that have been achieved for their coffee.