Koakaka Muganza

  • Country
    Rwanda
  • Province
    Southern Province
  • Region
    Nyamagabe District
  • Average Farm Altitude
    1,800 - 2,000m above sea level
  • Variety
    Red Bourbon
  • Processing
    Fully Washed
  • Washing Station
    Muganza Washing Station
  • Farmers
    111 cooperative members
  • Owner
    Koakaka Cooperative
  • Awards
    Cup of Excellence 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018

Sweet honey blossom and vanilla florals, with rooibos tea, red grape and maple syrup. Well structured, with great balance and weight.

This 1,200 kg lot was produced by 111 smallholder producers who farm coffee in the villages surrounding Muganza washing station, in the district of Nyamagabe in Rwanda’s Southern Province. Established in 2005, Muganza is one of three washing stations owned and operated by the Koakaka Cooperative, whose members produce coffee along the edge of the Nyungwe rainforest. Like most of the coffee that is grown in Rwanda, this lot is 100% Red Bourbon.

All of the members contributing to the Muganza washing station enjoy perfect conditions to grow exceptional coffee, with high elevations (averaging 1,800–2,000 metres above sea level), good rainfall (1,100–1,300mm annually), and steady temperatures averaging around 17–18 °C. 130 seasonal workers are employed by the washing station during the harvest, with a further 11 full time staff overseeing all operations of the cooperative and washing stations all year round (six of whom are women).

As members of the cooperative they are guaranteed a minimum price for their coffee cherries, and are paid a good price to ensure the very best quality cherries are delivered. In addition to this, they receive a bonus that is directly linked to the quality and prices paid for the coffee.

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

 

PROCESSING AT MUGANZA WASHING STATION

This coffee was processed using the washed processing method at the Muganza Washing Station, using natural spring water from the surrounding mountains.

  • Members of the Koakaka Cooperative are trained to only select the very ripest coffee cherries from their trees. During the harvest, cherries are delivered daily to the Muganza Washing Station via foot, bicycle or driven by truck from a local pick-up point (they have 70 pick points in the surrounding area). The women have specific delivery days to the washing station to ensure their lots are processed separately.
  • On delivery, the cherries are inspected and sorted to ensure only the very ripest cherries are processed. They are then sorted by weight (and any floaters removed) and pulped on the same day—almost always in the evening—using a mechanical pulper that divides the beans into three grades. After pulping the coffee is fermented overnight in tiled tanks (for 12–18 hours) without water and then graded again using floatation channels that sort the coffee by weight (heaviest usually being the best).
  • The beans are then soaked in clean water for a further 14 hours, before being moved to raised screens for ‘wet-sorting’ by hand—this is a task almost always carried out by women.
  • The sorted beans are finally dried in the sun on raised screens (‘African beds’) for two weeks. During this period, the coffee is turned several times a day by hand to ensure the coffee dries evenly and consistently. It is also sorted constantly, with any defects removed.
  • Once dry, the coffee beans are stored in parchment, in carefully labelled day lots, until they are ready for milling and export. The coffee is then sent to the Nyamagabe District (where Koakaka recently built a dry mill) and prepared for export.

 

WHY WE LOVE IT

Coffees from Huye District are characterised by heavy sweetness and juicy character. We love this coffee for its great structure and weight, with honey blossom and red grape in the cup.