Flight Coffee Co.

Rwanda Gishamwana Island Microlot


From the early part of the 20th century, Belgian Colonial interests in Rwanda mandated the planting of high yield, low cost coffee varietals to supply the booming market back home.  By the 1990s, coffee had become a major staple export of Rwanda, but everything changed during the 1994 genocide which devastated both the population and agriculture resulting in nearly a decade of stagnation.

In the early 2000's the government started to encourage the growth and marketing of specialty coffee as a means to recover from that terrible event.  Over time with the input of foreign aid and the formation of cooperatives, Rwanda began to produce some truly exciting coffees.  While today it contributes less than 0.2% of the global coffee supply, its reputation for quality, unique characteristics and the phenomenal story of recovery from tragedy earns Rwanda a significant place at the table of African origins.

Gishamwana is a small island on the eastern side of Lake Kivu where the coffee plants are grown, processed and milled.  As an island, it has avoided the diseases and pests that plague coffee plants on the mainland.  This coffee comes from the COOPAC coop which was established in 2001 and who now run 50 washing stations in the region.

Rwandan Microlots such as these are traceable to the cooperative and washing station level and are separated from the larger bulked day lots produced by the washing station, thus they represent the pinnacle of Rwandan coffee.

The Washed process in Rwanda includes a unique soaking step, not unlike that often found in Kenya. The cherries are delivered to central processing units the day they are harvested, where they will be depulped and fermented in open-air tanks made of concrete or cement for 12–18 hours. After fermentation, the coffees are soaked in water for 24 hours, after which they will have their mucilage removed and be spread on raised beds to dry

From Our Cupping Lab:

This Rwandan microlot is an enzymatic and savory coffee. The notes of blood orange dancing on the tongue, followed by the tang of lime, with the sweetness of cane sugar to top it all off.

Flavor Notes:

blood orange, lime, cane sugar

Altitude: 1500 - 2000m

Varietal: Bourbon

Region: Kaguriro

Process: Washed

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