Rwanda Isimbi Fully Washed

Origin: Rwanda
Process: Fully Washed
Producers: Smallholder farmers working for RWACOF
Grown: Rubyiro, Mubuga Sector, Karongi District, Western Province
Altitude: 1100 to 2000 metres
Varietals: Bourbon
Cupping Score: 84+

Tasting Notes:
This lot is full of the flavours of red apple, ripe mandarin, rhubarb, with fruit notes of juicy red currants, hints of  caramel and a delicate sweetness reminiscent of Ceylon tea


Brew Guide:

Medium Grind
30g to 500ml water
91-96 ℃
2-4 minutes

Find Grind
7-10g to 30-60ml water
91-96 ℃
20-30 seconds

Roast Info:
Light to Medium Roast

Farm Info:

This lot has been selectively handpicked by various small holder farmers dotted around Rubyiro Village, in Mubuga Sector of the Karongi District, of the Western Province, near Lake Kivu, whose rich soil and fertile environment create ideal conditions for bourbon coffee varieties to flourish. Over 200 small farmers supply this specific coffee and boast that it is among the finest in the world.

Isimbi blend is inspired by its namesake, the Kinyarwanda word for the white at the top of a volcano which is a term also used to refer to something pure.

Processing Info:

Cherry is selectively handpicked to remove any damaged or underripe cherries. Washing stations only accept perfectly ripe cherry, so farmers take more care when they pick to ensure the maximum amount of cherry is accepted.

Cherries are floated to remove those with insect damage or otherwise low density. The cherry is pulped and then wet fermented for 24 hours to remove the remaining mucilage. After fermentation is complete, the parchment is sent through grading canals to separate into three levels of density (A1, A2 & A3). Finally, the parchment is soaked for around 20 hours to improve quality and shelf life and to remove any remaining mucilage. 

After washing, the parchment is removed from the water and is delivered to pre-drying tables to be sorted by hand. Defects are often easier to catch when the parchment is still wet. After this process, the parchment is laid on tables to sun-dry where it is also consistently sorted to remove any remaining defects. The parchment is then bagged up and sent to RWACOF and milled in their mill.

Coffee Country Info:

Despite its turbulent history, today Rwanda is one of the specialty coffee world’s darlings – for good reason! Our sister company in Rwanda does an amazing job of bringing the best that Rwanda has to offer to roasters around the world.

German missionaries and settlers brought coffee to Rwanda in the early 1900s. Largescale coffee production was established during the 1930 & 1940s by the Belgian colonial government. Coffee production continued after the Belgian colonists left. By 1970, coffee had become the single largest export in Rwanda and accounted for 70% of total export revenue. Coffee was considered so valuable that, beginning in 1973, it was illegal to tear coffee trees out of the ground.

Between 1989 and 1993, the breakdown of the International Coffee Agreement (ICA) caused the global price to plummet. The Rwandan government and economy took a hard hit from low global coffee prices. The 1994 genocide and its aftermath led to a complete collapse of coffee exports and vital USD revenue, but the incredible resilience of the Rwandan people is evident in the way the economy and stability have recovered since then.

Modern Rwanda is considered one of the most stable countries in the region. Since 2003, its economy has grown by 7-8% per year and coffee production has played a key role in that growth. Today, smallholders propel the industry in Rwanda forward.

The country doesn’t have any large estates. Most coffee is grown by the 400,000+ smallholders, who own less than a  quarter of a hectare. The majority of Rwanda’s coffee production is Arabica. Bourbon variety plants comprise 95% of all coffee trees cultivated in Rwanda.