Rwanda is blessed with ideal coffee growing conditions that include high altitude, regular rainfall and volcanic soils with good organic structure. The vast majority of Rwandan coffee is produced by smallholders of which there are thought to be around half a million, they often have no more 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 or early June.
This coffee is produced by women farmers; there are some male members of the families but the women took over ownership and charge of the land. The support that a smallholder farmer often relies on has been found to flourish under this structure, and it is often now used as a methodology to help improve the coffee on a farm if an individual is struggling. We source the coffee through Kinini and Jacquie has been active in helping them organise themselves since some of the women supplied coffee to them. Jacquie supported the women with registering their cooperative, and they made 12 groups depending on which village they were near to help manage training and travelling. Jacquie said, "after all this was in place I promised them that I will market their coffee by the co-op name. These women are now coffee expert farmers".
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TIPS All our coffee beans are roasted fresh and are best consumed within 6 weeks of roast date. Always reseal in our airtight bag and store at ambient temperature.
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