Andre Hakizimana Organic

  • Country
  • Province
    Northern Province
  • District
    Gakenke District
  • Sector
    Coko Sector
  • Washing Station
  • Elevation
    2,150m above sea level
  • Variety
    Red Bourbon
  • Processing
  • Farm Size
    1.3 Hectares
  • Farm Owner
    Andre Hakizimana and Anathal Mukagwiza
  • Washing Station Owner
    Dukunde Kawa Cooperative
  • Awards
    Cup of Excellence 2008, 2013, 2015
  • Relationship Length
    Since 2017

Pink Lady apple, mandarin and lime with lingering rose florals and a syrupy body. Pretty and distinct.

It is very rare to be able to get a coffee that is traceable back to a single farm in Rwanda, so we feel extremely fortunate to be able to share this special microlot from producers Andre Hakizimana and Anathal Mukagwiza.

Most of the coffees we source from Rwanda are traceable back to a washing station, or sometimes a farmer group. Washing stations in Rwanda receive cherry from hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of farmers who own very small plots of land – on average less than a quarter hectare, with just 300-600 coffee trees. Separation of such tiny lots is expensive and impractical, so the large majority of coffees are processed as a mixed lot from multiple producers. Typically, lots are separated as day lots (ie. cherries that were all picked on the same day) rather than by a single farm or producer group.

Single farm microlots like this one are extremely difficult to access. In this case, it is made possible due to the size of Andre and Anathal’s farm, which totals 1.2 hectare. Andre is also a member of the Dukunde Kawa Cooperative, which operates its own dry mill, allowing them to process smaller lots individually, whilst minimising cost and maintaining excellent quality standards.

Andre has worked in coffee for over 40 years. He is one of the founding members of Dukunde Kawa Cooperative and remains active as a member – he even works at the cooperative in the off-season by providing support with maintenance and improvements outside of the harvest. His career in coffee started at an early age, when he left school at fifteen and began working the fields with his father. He eventually inherited a plot of land, which he planted with coffee.

Andre is an industrious coffee farmer and, over time, he gradually saved money and acquired more land and planted more trees. Part of these efforts were to meet the needs of his growing family (Andre has five children), and he used the income earned from coffee farming to pay for school fees, insurance, clothing and covering all the family’s needs.

Before the establishment of cooperatives and centralised washing stations, coffee production was extremely arduous for Rwandan coffee farmers. Processing was labour-intensive and lengthy, with very little equipment, training or resources available to rural farming communities. Typically, coffee cherries were depulped by hand using stones and parchment was dried at farm level, before being sold to a middleman or ‘broker’ who would then on sell the coffee to traders or exporters based in Kigali. Not only did this result in a long and challenging harvest season for individual farmers, it also denied them any leverage for negotiating prices to achieve a fair and reliable income.

With the forming of cooperatives like Dukunde Kawa, farmers were provided with the support, education and resources necessary to adopt better farming practices, and processing moved to centralised washing stations – where shared infrastructure, equipment and adequate labour both minimised the workload for individuals and dramatically improved the coffee’s quality. Andre was an early joiner of Dukunde Kawa (he is member 26!) and the cooperative transformed his life. As he said to us on a recent trip, “[Thanks to] the way Dukunde Kawa has processed and marketed our production, the price has improved significantly. The cooperative pays us regularly, provides us with insurance and bonuses, and even with cows. Now there is a lot less work to do, and only during the harvest, because Dukunde Kawa does the rest.

Today, Andre owns over 3,000 coffee trees and produces around seven tonnes of coffee per season, making him one of Dukunde Kawa’s biggest producing members. His production has grown so much, he now employs eight workers during the harvest to help him with picking. The pickers are trained to select only the ripest cherries for harvest and do several passes throughout the season to ensure quality standards are met.

Andre also farms 100% organically. He uses manure from the farm animals he keeps to fertilise his trees and has planted pumpkins and banana trees to prevent erosion and keep the soil moist. His wife, Anathal Mukawiza, works closely with him on the farm and the couple take great pride in their work and their coffee, which they see as an important investment in their family’s future. He hopes his children will follow in his footsteps, and has given 50 coffee trees to his four children who are still studying and a plot of land with 150 trees to his married daughter. He plans to renovate his house in the coming years, using the income generated from coffee sales to pay for it.

When we asked Andre what makes him proudest about working in coffee, he told us it’s “[The fact] that I have my own home, I have managed to buy a motorbike… I live off my own work.”

Unfortunately, during the 2023 season, localised hail storms damaged his production extensively. While this setback has been disappointing, Andre remains confident it won’t have longterm effects at his farm. As he exclaimed, “Even though hailstorms have affected us, we are going to push forward and put all our efforts so you can keep finding our production. What we ask is that you keep buying it — and we will show you that we will not lose good quantities for you!’



At a staggering elevation of 2,020 metres above sea level, Mbilima is one of Rwanda’s highest washing stations. The area surrounding the washing station has mineral-rich soil and a lush environment that is well suited to specialty coffee production. Typically, farms in this area are very small – averaging just a quarter of a hectare – and are situated between 1,800 to 2,100 meters above sea level.

The washing station was established in 2005 and services 874 growers (643 men, 231 women) who live and grow coffee locally. Four permanent staff and 49 seasonal workers are employed by the washing station – most of whom are women.

Day-to-day operations at Mbilima are overseen by John Bosco Habimana, who has been the washing station’s manager since 2014, and QC is headed by Agnes Mushimiyimana. The washing station is 100% organic, Rainforest Alliance certified, UTZ certified, and Fair Trade certified. John Bosco explained that becoming certified was extremely useful in formalising and documenting a lot of things that the cooperative was already doing. “It helped us to better the lives of our producers and quality of our coffee. It’ was a lot of work to get the certifications,” he explained, “but it also made us realise how many positive things we were already doing. The certifications reinforce this.” 

Head here to learn more about the work of Dukunde Kawa in Rwanda.


The team at Dukunde Kawa takes a huge amount of care in processing its coffee. All members of the cooperative are trained to only select ripe coffee cherries from their trees.

  • On delivery the cherries are inspected and sorted by hand to ensure only the very ripest cherries are processed. They are then sorted by weight (and any floaters are removed) by a Pinhalense machine that the washing station staff affectionately have nicknamed the ‘Umupolisi’ (police officer). They are then pulped on the same day – usually in the evening – using a mechanical pulper that divides the beans into three grades by weight, with the heaviest, A1, usually having the highest cup quality.
  • After pulping, the coffee is fermented overnight for around 12–18 hours and then graded again using floatation channels that sort the coffee by weight. The beans are then soaked for a further 24 hours, before being moved to raised screens for ‘wet sorting’ by hand.
  • As at most washing stations in Rwanda, women do the majority of hand-sorting. This takes place in two stages – on the covered pre-drying tables and on the drying tables. Washed beans are moved from the wet fermentation tanks onto the pre-drying tables, where they are intensively sorted under shade for around six hours. The idea is that greens (unripe beans) are still visible when the beans are damp, while the roofs over the tables protect the beans from the direct sunlight.
  • Next, the beans are moved onto the washing station’s extensive raised drying tables (‘African beds’) for around two weeks, where they are sorted again for defects, turned regularly and protected from rain and the midday sun by covers, ensuring both even drying and the removal of any damaged or defective beans. During this period the coffee is also turned several times a day by hand to ensure the coffee dries evenly and consistently.
  • After reaching 11% humidity, the coffee is then transported to Dukunde Kawa’s purpose-built warehouse prior to final dry-milling and hand sorting at the cooperative’s dry mill.


We have known Andre for many years, and first visited his farm in 2014. In 2017 we were finally able to buy his coffee as a separate lot and have committed to purchasing his coffee every year since. We love this year’s coffee for its juicy, pineapple acidity, its honey sweetness and notes of purple grape.