Growing Regions: Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western Provinces; Lake Kivu washing stations being highly regarded
Varieties: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai
Processes: Mostly Washed, some Natural
World Ranking: 32nd Largest Coffee Producer in the World
Tasting Notes: Good diversity of flavours and great potential for amazing coffee; balanced acidity, fruity sweetness, floral and tropical. Creamy textures and elegant floral notes with stone fruits and chocolate
Situated in the center of Africa, Rwanda is fertile and mountainous with diverse topography, volcanic soil and steady rainfall. The country, which is roughly half the size of Scotland, has diversity in its coffee’s flavours with elegant floral acidity in the West, fruity chocolate richness in the East, citrus sweetness in the South and caramel creaminess in the North.
Rwandan’s harrowing troubles in the 1990’s along with fluctuating coffee prices and an archaic trading system had placed a hold on the country’s coffee market, but since the involvement of external projects Rwanda’s coffee growth has been remarkable.
To add to the plight of the Rwandan coffee industry, the region’s growing areas are susceptible to the coffee ‘potato’ defect, a bacteria that causes the coffee to smell and taste like potato starch, however with ancient resilient Bourbon varieties Rwanda is slowly controlling the defect.
Half of the country’s exports is now generated by the coffee industry and washing stations have been built around the country enabling the small hold farmers access to resources and training, most notably around the shores of Lake Kivu, where the cleanest and brightest coffees are thought to originate.
Rwanda’s coffee rejuvenation is still young, but with 100% Arabica crops, 95% of which are Bourbon and annual growth of coffee production in the area, there is sure to be some amazing coffees coming out of the country in the near future.