Rwanda – Horizon Washed

Country: Rwanda
Region: Kigoma
Processing station: Horizon
Altitude: 1700 – 2000 m.a.s.l.
Variety: Red Bourbon
Processing: washed
Taste profile: Pineapple, vanilla, tangerine

Rwanda has a relatively recent, turbulent history. The aftermath of the 1994 genocide is still evident, even at Horizon Station. It ceased operating in 2006 when its owner was arrested for complicity in the genocide. As of 2018, the station has a new owner, who acquired new technology that year and started producing specialty coffee. Thanks to this, you can now taste his second excellent crop of naturally processed coffee.

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PRODUCENT

Leo Fidele Ndagijimana bought a disused processing station in the Huye region in 2018. He draws on years of experience running other stations in western Rwanda to run the station. He chose the name Horizon to reference the fact that he is always looking beyond the horizon in quality and looking for new opportunities and skills to process coffee better. The station currently employs 94 people, 4 of whom are full-time. 70% of the staff are women.

PROCESSING

Rwanda Horizon is grown 1700 – 2000 m above sea level on fertile land. Over 1200 farmers contribute coffee from farms within 2 km of the station. The average farm size is 7000 trees (3 ha).
During the harvest, local farmers deliver coffee cherries daily to the processing station. Here they are sorted and pulped in a tank.
After pulping, the coffee is separated into different fermentation tanks and soaked for 12 to 14 hours. The beans are then passed through washing channels where a combination of gravity and bean density separates the higher-quality coffee from the lower-quality coffee. Finally, the coffee is dried on raised African beds to a moisture content between 13% and 15%.

VARIETY

Red Bourbon is a tall variety of coffee plants characterized by relatively low production and susceptibility to disease and pests but excellent quality and flavor. Bourbon was introduced from Yemen to Brazil around 1860, and from there, it quickly spread north to other parts of South and Central America, where it is still grown today.
Here, the variety has been mixed with other Bourbon-related varieties introduced from India and Ethiopian varieties. Today, many types are similar to Bourbon in East Africa, but none are exactly like the original Bourbon variety found in Latin America.


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