Ireme, Rwanda

Ireme, Rwanda

Regular price $28.00

Very intense aromatically with notes that remind us of chocolate cream, watermelon, apricot and cherry. Also intense on the mouth with lactic and honeyed acidity along with an unctuous body. Its aftertaste is long and pleasant and leaves us a sensation of milk chocolate.

VARIETY: Red Bourbon
ALTITUDE: 1600-2100 masl
PROCESS: Anaerobic Natural
HARVEST: July 2021
TASTING NOTES: Apricot, Cocoa Cream, Watermelon

Roast Date: 01/24/2022

 

Gasharu washing station is located on the shores of Lake Kivu and a stone’s throw from Nyungwe National Park is one of the largest montane and most preserved montane rainforests in Central Africa. This region’s elevation, soil, and climate are what coffee trees love best.

The story of Gasharu Washing Station starts back in 1973 with Celestin Rumenerangabo, a boy who left his mum and his village behind to move to Kigali, the capital of the country, where he worked for a family for three years. In 1976, he decided to collect his savings and head back to the village, to support his single mother who was living alone. He then bought his first land, planted 380 coffee trees, and started to work with local brokers. As he got started with coffee collection and trading there were no washing stations. Local people would sell coffee cherries or parchment by cups locally known as Mironko, which were assumed to be equivalent to kilograms when scales weren’t available. In 1983 he got married to Marie Goretti, a 22 years-old teacher who helped his mother and him with the family business, supporting schooling for children from coffee farming families working with the family. By the time the Tutsi Genocide occurred, the business had grown remarkably, with more than 14 coffee collection sites in partnership with other local farmers and providing them with coffee scales for more accuracy. The Genocide made Celestin and his family move to Idjwi Island, in Lake Kivu, belonging to the Democratic Republic of Congo for 4 years, making them start the business again from zero when they came back to Rwanda. In 2006, the family established its first coffee washing station, called Birembo Coffee Station, which had to be sold only six years later due to international coffee corporations controlling the local market and making it hard for small companies to access to it. However, the need to take care of the community made the family go back to business. And in 2014 they established Gasharu and Muhororo Coffee Stations. Since most of the coffee stations are owned by international companies with high financial power, the family had to embark on the process of relationships with roasters on retailers on the global market (although it only managed to start exporting in 2019).

Gasharu Coffee promotes high-quality coffee and good living standards of coffee farmers in the community, working with around 1650 farms from 12 main coffee village farms, involving them throughout all stages of coffee processing. Every year they employ around 320 local workers from the community during the peak of the crop with 70% of the workers being women. Gasharu Coffee integrates good production practices with environmental preservation, community sensitivity and long-term coffee viability on their farmer philosophy.

In order to get this lot, the cherries were sorted and floated when arriving at the washing station to ensure consistent and good density beans are separated from the others. After the floating selection, the cherries were put in a tank where they were fermented for 72 under anaerobic conditions, to be later dried on raised wooden beds for 4-5 weeks. Once dried, the coffee is well kept and stored in good conditions before being hulled and sorted by well-trained women and then packed in GrainPro and Jute bags for export. The processing at the washing station is carried out by young coffee farmers and the sorting on tables by slightly older coffee farmers, mainly women provide them with more income.