Region | Gakenke District, Province du Nord
Altitude | 2100 MASL
Process | Washed
Variety | Red Bourbon
This is our second time sourcing the Rwandan Musasa - this was a real favourite as our nascent lockdown webshop kicked into gear in 2020. This year it is super - fruits and sugars galore!!
The Dukunde Kawa cooperative, based in Musasa, was set up in 2000 with the help of USAID's PEARL programme, an American initiative to help the country's rural communities recover from the effects of the the Rwandan civil war and genocide of 1994. The group comprises 1,100 farmers and they built their first washing station in 2003. 80% of the cooperative's farmers are women.
"Musasa" means "a place to make a bed" and "Dukunde Kawa" means "let's love coffee". There are clear signs that the focus on quality has improved these farmers' lives with many farmers more than doubling their income through work with the cooperative. There is a financial assistance system in place where farmers can take out small loans with low interest rates.
At the station, the cherries are depulped, sorted into three grades and fermented for 12 hours. They are soaked and then hand sorted, first on the pre-drying tables and then again on the drying tables, where they sit for 14 days with regular turning and sorting.
This cooperative is working on reforesting the local farming area by giving farmers a young shade tree to plant every time they get a coffee plant. Growing coffee in shade is a well-known boon for coffee quality as well as biodiversity. With good takeup of this planting, it is hoped this local farming area will be reforested within a few years.