RWANDA, BUGOYI, 100 HOURS ANAEROBIC FERMENTED, 90+ GRADE A1
After 15 years of experience in the Rwandan specialty coffee industry, Emmanuel Rusatira and his family made the decision to buy and set up their own washing stations. The location and specific management of each station shows itself in unique cup profiles. The Rusatira family developed their own grading system and is continuously experimenting with washed, honeys, and naturals. All year round they work together with local farmers to support them on the field, and financially, so as to produce the best coffee cherries in the region, and boost quality, year after year. Emmanuel is a dedicated coffee-lover. He not only talks to his coffees, but also listens to them and shares their conversations. They were singing and dancing while sorting, pulping and washing the coffees. But besides the friendliness and good energy of the people, their professionalism is fascinating.
Although Muzo is the smallest of the six washing stations run by Emmanuel and his family, some of the finest qualities are produced here. He leased the station for 10 years and eventually bought it in 2018. In close cooperation with the Muzo Cooperative, they are processing washed, honeys and naturals. Muzo Washing Station is located on a mountain slope in the hilly Gakenke District, where cold air is blown up at night – ideal for the coffee on the African beds. The rich volcanic soils, high rainfall and cool temperatures in the area create fruity, sweet and round cup profiles.
Bugoyi Washing Station is located in Rutsiro District. With full dedication and love for his coffee, he has been processing fully washed, naturals and honeys since 2017. The location on the shore of Lake Kivu brings a light breeze and soft sunlight, ideal for cooling and drying the beans evenly. Damascen is the station manager of Bugoyi Washing Station. He is an expert in mobilisation and makes Bugoyi attractive to many farmers. Delphine is the Quality Manager and has been working in coffee for seven years. She oversees the drying of the coffees and is an important part of Baho Coffee. In close collaboration with 1,500 local smallholder farmers who bring their cherries to the washing station on foot or by bicycle, some outstanding and full-bodied washed, honeys and naturals are produced here. 80% of the workers at Bugoyi Washing Station are women.
Emmanuel is also experimenting with anaerobic processing. The cup profile differs depending on the conditions. Wet processing creates a livelier cup profile, while dry processing is more intense. After the coffee is fermented for 100 hours, the beans are spread on drying beds and turned every two hours. The beans are dried slowly by being protected from direct sunlight during the first five days.
The Humure Washing Station is named after the highest hill in the region. Whats particularly impressive about this station is that it is entirely managed by women. After washing the coffee, the water is captured and pumped back up on the hill for reusage. Along with the practice of partial washing, the women try to use as little water as possible.
Emmanuel supports farmers with access to fertilisers, helps them to check the condition of their trees and shares valuable knowledge about best farmer practices. Furthermore, he supports the farmers by covering their social insurance and giving them second payments at the end of the crop.