COFFEE: Musasa Mbilima
VARIETAL: Red Bourbon
PROCESSING: Fully washed & sun dried on raised beds
ALTITUDE: 1900 - 2200 masl
OWNER: Musasa Dukunde Kawa Cooperative
LOCATION: Rubyiniro (Dancing Place), Coko Sector, Gakenge District of Northern Province, Rwanda
Most of the small scale producers with whom Musasa Dukunde Kawa works own less than a quarter of a hectare of land, where they cultivate an average of only 250 - 300 coffee trees each as well as other subsistence food crops such as maize and beans. The cooperative gives farmers chance to combine their harvests and process cherries centrally. Before the local washing stations were build , farmers were forced to sell their harvests to a middleman. With market dominated by single exporter the prices they received were extremely low contributing to increased hardship.
Today, it's a different picture. Farmers who work with Musasa Dukunde Kawa have seen their income at least double, and the Coop produces some outstanding lots for specialty market year after year.
In the wake of the genocide in '94 and the subsequent coffee crash of the late '90's many small farmers were driven to the wall, but with the advent of superlative programmes such as PEARL and SPREAD, which allowed them to process cherries centrally, a specialty coffee industry was born allowing them to cut out middlemen and to effectively double their incomes. To grow Specialty Grade you have to be good and you have to be exact. This is amply demonstrated by the Musasa washing station where the coffee is pulped, fermented, graded and soaked for 24hrs . It is then pre-dried and finally spread out on raised African Beds until it reaches 11% humidity. I don't know, but I like to think, that Musasa means a raised coffee bed. I've never seen one, but I like to think I might. Sometime.
Well balanced, long finish, velvety body.
Chocolate, dried fruit ( raisin, black cherry, plum?)
Great example of Rwandan Bourbon at darker roast.