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Our Head of coffee
"This rich, round coffee is ideal for espresso drinkers. The sweetness that comes from it has notes of blackcurrant, which is complemented by mild, grape-like acidity and a great mouthfeel."
To understand the importance of this coffee, you have to understand the story of Epiphanie Mukashyaka. Epiphanie runs Bufcoffee Ltd., who own the Umurage Washing Station where this coffee is processed. A widow of the Rwandan genocide and civil war of 1994, coffee has been central to Epiphanie’s life. Now, her and her team — mostly family members — produce and export coffee across the world. More importantly, they offer social and economic support to 4,608 women, and a great many small coffee farmers.
Bufcoffee Ltd. have five different washing stations, but it’s at Umurage that the processing is most complex. They took over the station following a change in the way washing stations in Rwanda are allowed to buy coffee from the communities they served. Had they not done so, several small farms would have been forced to sell their cherries to outside buyers for a far smaller price.
The meticulousness of the processing at Umurage works to weed out poor quality beans, and improve the flavour of the final cup. First, beans are graded at four separate points. Next, they are fermented in the shade, for added control. Thirdly, the cherries are soaked in cool, fresh water for 24 hours. Finally, the cheers are dried on raised beds, covered with netting in the day, and tarpaulin at night. You can taste the benefits of each individual step in the final cup.
We chose the name heritage to remind the community that we have been working to pay high prices and export high quality coffee for years, and we want that to continue. It followed the Government’s decision to reduce the area around which washing stations could buy coffee. When this came, we invested in new washing stations, so that we could continue to work with communities we had been supporting for years.
|ACIDITY||Tartaric, grape acidity|
|FLAVOUR||Blackcurrant and biscuit|
|PRODUCER||Epiphanie Mukashyaka and family|