We purchased this amazing coffee from our import partner, Cafe Imports. CI has been buying for the last five years from Emmanuel, who is both President of Coopac Cooperative and Sacof. He works primarily in the Kivu/Western part of Rwanda, which is an area with a rich history of producing incredible coffees.
Below is a translated testimonial from one of the many many small producers that delivers into Kigeyo. It was translated directly from Kirwanda into English by a Kirwanda and French speaker, so not edited by us or Cafe Imports. This was originally posted on Cafe Imports' website, and we felt there to be no better way to describe the origin of a coffee than to offer the words of the actual producer.
"My name is Dusabemariya Helene, a widow with five children. I started coffee production with my late husband who inherited the plantation from his late uncle. It was difficutl for us to find buyers for our coffees and the coffee that we produced was not of good quality. It was not easy to plan our future especially after his death. Fortunately SACOF started business and began giving me enough organic fertilizer to enrich the soild in order to produce more coffee and get enough income. My children now go to school through the support of SACOF. Through the goats that I received from SACOF as a gift, the production of coffee has much improved and as result my life changed."
The bulk of Rwandan coffee is sold as ordinary, which is unwashed and not a very clean natural. Premium prices like that paid for this coffee produce both superior cups and allow farmers to live and prosper in a manner that commodity coffee will not and can not for the small farmer. This concept of incentivizing farmers to produce higher quality is what drives the specialty coffee industry, and what ultimately empowers farmers, their villages, and their economies to thrive in a way that would otherwise be impossible.
This particular lot has a really nice front-end citrus acidity, which transitions into a more robust chocolate flavor and mouthfeel as it moves across the palate. As the cup cools, we notice a smooth and sweet melon nuance that rounds the cup out nicely. Enjoy!
Altitude: 1800-2000 masl