Kilimbi, RWANDA — Espresso Roast
PRIDUCER: Muraho Trading Company (Rugali, Kilimbi, Gisheke washing station)
REGION: Nyamasheke District, Rwanda
VARIETY: red bourbon
ALTITUDE: 1600-1650 MASL
Tasting Notes: notes of sweet raisin, dark chocolate and hazelnut with a syrupy body and long lasting finish
About The Coffee
In Rwanda, our importer works alongside Muraho Trading Co. This partnership helps affiliate co-operatives increase their quality of production, fetch a higher price for their coffee, and introduce them to new markets. This will be a continuous work in progress in the coming years, as our importer a greater understanding of the particular challenges Rwandan coffee producers face.
Through this process our importer can develop a model that creates incentives that generate producer buy-in, all the while maximising impact. They supply coffee from across Muraho’s washing stations, which are located in the Nyamasheke, Gakenke, and Nyabihu regions of Rwanda.
This is one of the two first washing stations to be granted approval to produce natural and honey processed coffee in Rwanda by NAEB. The elevation of Kilimbi lends itself incredibly well to the production of exceptional washed, honeys and naturals. Drying beds stretch across a large open plain, where airflow and sunlight have maximum exposure to the coffee as it dries. Built in 2016, it is the birthplace of Muraho Trading Company, as their first washing station.
Like Gisheke, Kilimbi is only accessible by boat, with farmers travelling across Lake Kivu to deliver their farm’s harvests. Its estimated annual production is approximately 33,300kg of milled green coffee, which is produced each harvest into volumes of honey, washed, and naturally processed coffees.
All cherry is hand-sorted before a pre-pulp float, underripe or damaged cherry is removed, along with any foreign objects. Cherry is then floated in pre-pulping tanks removing any floaters and later pulped. Next, coffee is fermented in dedicated concrete fermentation tanks for an average of 12 hours. During this time, the fermented parchment is agitated several times through the day by way of ceremonial foot-stomping.
Dried on traditional African raised beds, cherry is meticulously hand sorted before drying, removing any visually under-ripe cherry, coffee is then floated to further separate any low-density cherry. We have experimented with many different honey processing techniques. We now employ the technique of pre-pulp floatation to remove debris and low-density beans, running the cherry through the de-pulper to remove the skin but retaining almost all the mucilage, then finally a gentle rinse to remove any floaters post pulp.
These honey processed coffees render an orange colouring. The drying conditions at Kilimbi are ideal for ensuring optimal post-pulp drying. Coffee is laid on the drying beds between 12 pm and 3 pm ensuring maximum exposure to the sun during the warmest time of the day, this minimises the chance of coffee becoming phenolic or over fermented. The coffee is initially laid out very thin; this is to ensure mucilage has maximum exposure to the sun when it is very wet. As the parchment dries, it is heaped into larger piles that give a thermal mass to the coffee while it continues to dry. This enables the moisture content of the parchment to homogenise during drying enabling more even drying results. The coffee is dried for 35 days, turned constantly when the sun is high and covered during the night.