About the producer:
Kanzu Washing Station is located in the Nyamasheke district of Rwanda’s Western
province. When the views are clear from the top of the ridge above the washing stations, you can see all the way down to Lake Kivu to the west, which stretches the length of Rwanda’s border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Kanzu is a jewel among coffee co-ops — organized and well-run, set against green hills of coffee, cassava, sweet potato, sugar cane, bananas, and beans at 1900 masl. Kanzu employs 50 local men and women during the harvest season. From start to finish, harvest in Rwanda runs about 4-5 months from March to July.
In 2012, Dormans took over Kanzu Washing Station and has spent the intervening years making investments in infrastructure, training farmers on agronomic best practices, and improving quality control.
After arriving at the washing station, each cherry is floated and pulped, using a McKinnon disc pulper. The coffee in parchment then undergoes a dry fermentation for 16-18 hours before the remaining mucilage is washed off, followed by soaking. This typically takes up to 18 hours before the coffee is dried on raised beds with a mesh bottom, allowing for air circulation.
About Rwandan Coffee:
Very few coffee-producing countries have received the kind of focused aid that Rwanda has seen since the end of the genocide in 1994. By building washing stations, forming coops, and training agronomists, cuppers and quality control personnel, aid programs like PEARL and SPREAD helped to elevate Rwandese coffee to new heights, giving farmers access to specialty coffee markets and prices.