Working with over 3,200 smallholders, the Muhondo Coffee Company operate three small washing stations in Rwanda’s Northern Province. Like much of Rwanda, the land here is rugged, mountainous and exceptionally beautiful. Rich volcanic soils, plentiful sunshine and tropical rainfall provide the perfect conditions for the cultivation of fine Arabica coffee, particularly the Bourbon variety, which excels in the high altitude offered by Rwanda’s mountains.
Washed and Sun dried – how?
Ripe cherries are selected at first by hand, then by floatation in clean water tanks. The cherries are de-pulped and fermented in water for an average of 18 hours. The squidgy, fermented cherries are then washed in clean water, sorted simultaneously by density through water grading channels. This lot is from the densest, thus highest quality, grade.
The washed coffee, still in its husk is then sun-dried on raised African beds for 21-30 days depending on climatic conditions. It’s a combination of this unique ‘terroir’ and processing that gives the Rwandan beans their unique, punchy flavour.