Region: Ruhango District, Southern Province
Exporter: Tropic Coffee Company
Washing Station: Gisanga
Elevation: 1650 – 1850 m.a.s.l
Arabica Varietals: Red Bourbon
Process: Anaerobic Natural
Harvest: March – June
In the cup: Cranberry, Blueberry, Peach, Guava, Bubblegum.
The Gisanga Washing Station resides in the beautiful mountain range of the Congo-Nile Divide. At a long way above sea level, the fertile land is full of clay and sandy soils, and the cool humidity results in the absolute perfect growing and processing conditions for red bourbon coffee trees. There is no questions why coffees from this
region are full of beautiful natural flavours.
The Tropic Coffee Company began their washing station adventures here at Gisanga and this station is responsible for providing the company with all of their southern Rwandan supply. But as it clocks in 650 tonnes of cherry each season, it certainly services the area well. The station purchases and processes coffee cherries form over 850 local coffee farmers who operate under the Koapambu Co-operative. Usually, after harvest the cherries are delivered from the farm to the station by foot or by bicycle, and Tropic Coffee always pays the farmers extra for any logistical expenses they might incur should a vehicle be required.
Gisanga Washing Station uses a variety of processing methods, and the mostly female team of workers meticulously sort and manage the cherries throughout the entire processing stages. The washed coffees use the natural spring water from
the local area, known as ‘Theresa’s natural spring’, an old name in reference to the Theresa family who first used the water for home coffee processing methods. Project Origin continue to be impressed with the Tropic Coffee Company’s focus on the sustainable use of natural resources and community development as well as their support towards women producer groups throughout the year. Their values align with ours and the bonus points exist in the delicious coffees they produce together.
o Farmers bring cherries to the station where they are separated by location
o Cherries are sorted and floated to remove low density cherries
o Cherries are placed in closed tanks for 24-72 hours for an extended fermentation time
o Cherries are then laid on raised beds
o Cherries are turned regularly every 30-40 minutes to maintain clarity and left on beds until moisture content reaches 10-12%
o Drying typically takes 20-30 days
o Beans are stored in dried cherry pods until ready for export