The coffee farmers of Rwanda are proud to announce this years coffee season has begun and is looking more fruitful than ever. A beautiful coffee bean requires the perfect farming conditions. Rwanda's elevation, temperature, soil quality, and humidity combine to create some of the best coffee growing conditions in the world.
The Kivu Lake washing station is located at 5,900 feet. This high elevation produces a more dense, richer bean. Due to less oxygen at higher altitudes, coffee cherries grow slowly creating a more concentrated flavor. Arabica coffee plants grow best at elevations from 3,000-6,000 feet.
While many parts of Rwanda face difficulty growing coffee due to poor organic material in the soil, the Lake Kivu region is unique. Volcanic ash and soil mix to create a fertile combination, exceptional for coffee farming.
Rwanda is nicknamed, "land of a thousand hills," because most of the country is dominated by vast hillsides and and tropical forests. The warm temperatures and humidity allow coffee plants scattered among the hillside to thrive.
One part of coffee production unique to Rwanda is the drying process. This step of production allows coffee to be further sorted, picking out any under-ripe beans, pulper-nicked coffee, fruit skins, or beans that may have been soured in fermentation. Coffee beans are then set on elevated drying tables where they sit, covered, for 15 to 20 days. This allows beans to dry at a rate that will not crack under the sun's heat.
All of these elements combine to create a beautiful cup of coffee that, as you sip, takes your taste buds to Rwanda.