Rwanda

"The land of a thousand hills", Rwanda has lush rolling green hills filled with fruit trees and tin sheds dotted all around. Coffees are grown upon these slopes with altitudes ranging from 1500 to 2200 metres and temperatures ranginng from 17 to 23 degrees. With this climate, coupled with volcanic soils, allows these predominantly Bourbon coffee cherries to mature slowly, resulting in a bean that's rich in flavour and aroma. There are approximately 400,000 coffee workers in Rwanda, which has seen the level of speciality coffee surge in recent years. For a long time Rwanda was famous for it's washed arabica beans. However, during the terrible events of civil war and genocide in the 1990's, Rwanda's society completely broke down. Thankfully, the coffee industry paved the way for their economy to begin growing again. Backed by Europe and USA, a number of new washing stations were built to help improve quality. The ripened coffee cherries are picked in the early morning and fast tracked to washing stations to be hand sorted. The best quality cherries are pulped, fermented, graded and washed, all under expert supervision. Once washed, the green beans are spread out onto raised beds for drying. Throughout this drying process, the coffee beans are protected from rain and excessive sunlight, allowing the coffee to develop its full taste characteristics slowly and naturally. Once dry, the coffee parchment is carefully bagged in well-ventilated stores before being transported to Kigali for milling and grading. UK bound shipments leave from the port of Mombasa in Kenya.

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