Craving the complex flavours of East Africa’s best crops? Us too. The Mwasa – the second lot we’ve shared from this washing station – delivers, with sweet and heavy lemon, cola and spice in the cup followed by caramel, toffee and cocoa.
Region: Nyamasheke, Western Rwanda
Altitude: 1750 - 2000 masl
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Processing: Fully washed
The coffee industry, once Rwanda's most lucrative export, was devastated by the genocide and resulting economic crash of the mid 90s, from which it is yet to recover - coffee production in the region is less than half now what it was in 1990. Despite this, Rwanda's coffee sector has huge potential, both for quality and as a means of economic renewal for the country and its people. Padre is proud to support the Mwasa station and excited by the coffee they are producing.
The majority of coffee produced in Nyamasheke is grown in small-holder farms with less than a hectare given over to cultivation - in fact, coffee production in Rwanda is so small-scale that farms are often referred to by tree count rather than size by hectare, and coffee cherry is transported to mill by bicycle. As we see in other regions dominated by small-holder production, the development of coffee growers' cooperatives and centralised milling and processing stations have been instrumental to the advancement of the coffee industry in Rwanda.
Starting operations in 2006, the privately owned Mwasa station quickly rose to regional prominence with hugely successful years in 2007 and 08. Unfortunately, they suffered a setback of several years after environmental troubles and financial difficulties paused production until, with the support of the Rwanda Trading Board, the company resumed production in 2010, growing since then to encompass neighbouring farms, with ten local farmers sitting as shareholder/directors and annual production currently hitting an impressive 72 tonnes.
Coffee at Mwasa is hand-sorted before the ripe cherries are pulped, fermented, cleaned, washed and dried on raised beds to prepare it for export.
Brewing filter? Find our filter roast selection here.