The vast majority of coffee in Rwanda is grown by small farmers who farm on less than one hectare. The coffee is processed in local wet-mills or in small processing stations, where they form cooperatives.
Leo Fidele Ndagijimana bought an unused processing station in the Huye region in 2018. In the first year, he repaired or bought new coffee processing technologies and set aside most of the profits from the first harvest to buy more land, where they gradually built new drying beds to meet the demand for naturally processed coffees.
Fidele uses many years of experience in managing other stations in western Rwanda to manage his processing station. He chose the name Horizon as a reference to the fact that he always looks beyond the horizon in terms of quality and is looking for new opportunities and skills to process coffee better.
2021 was the first year Fidele produced naturally processed coffee.
After delivery to the processing station, the cherries are washed in tanks with water from dust and coarse dirt. Subsequently, they are fermented in tanks for 15 hours.
The next day, the coffee is spread on African beds in a layer 4-5 centimeters thick. The cherries are dried with frequent rotation for about 30 days. The thickness of the layer gradually decreases and the last five days of drying is only one centimeter.
Once the coffee is dried, it is peeled in a dry mill and packed in bags. The bags are stored on hangers so that they do not lie on the ground or lean against the wall. They try to prevent any contamination of parchment or green beans before export.
Bourbon is the most famous of the varieties from the Bourbon family. It is a high variety characterized by relatively low production, susceptibility to many diseases but excellent “cup quality”.
French missionaries brought bourbon from Yemen to Bourbon Island (now La Réunion) in the early 18th century. Bourbon did not leave the island until the middle of the 19th century until the variety spread to new parts of the world, along with missionaries who migrated to continental Africa and America.
The Bourbon variety was brought 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 it was mixed with other varieties related to Bourbon, introduced from India, as well as Ethiopian varieties. There are currently many Bourbon-like varieties in East Africa, but none exactly match the Bourbon variety found in Latin America.
Today, in Latin America, Bourbon itself has been largely replaced by the varieties that come from it (especially varieties such as Caturra, Catuai, and Mundo Novo). Although Bourbon itself is still grown in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru.