We are very excited to bring you our second Rwandan coffee from producer Abdul Rudahunga. Abdul owns and operates Simbi Washing Station which is located in the Huye district of Rwanda’s southem province and services 1,850 smallholder coffee farmers who all grow high quality Arabica red bourbon coffee.
Rwanda is blessed with ideal coffee growing conditions that include high altitude, regular rainfall, volcanic soils with good organic structure and an abundance of Bourbon coffee trees. The vast majority of Rwandan coffee is produced by smallholders of which there are thought to be around half a million with parcels of land often not much larger than just one hectare per family. Coffee is grown in most parts of the country, with particularly large concentrations along Lake Kivu and in the southem province. Rwandan smallholders organise themselves into cooperatives and share the services of centralised wet-mills – or washing stations as they are known locally.
Simbi Washing Station was established by Abdul in 2013 after being inspired by his grandmother to get into the coffee business. She was a coffee farmer and one of the few rural Rwandans to roast and enjoy her own coffee as part of her daily routine.
Our latest coffee from this washing station is of the same bourbon variety as our first offering. The difference in this coffee is that it is a honey processed coffee. Honey process is a method in which coffee cherries are picked and sorted, have their skins and pulps removed like other types of coffee, but are then dried without washing off the sticky-sweet outer layer of the fruit. One benefit to producers is that honey processing uses less water. Allowing the fruit to dry on the bean means that it can be physically removed during milling rather than being washed off, which is a downside to washed coffee processesing as a large fresh water supply and technical equipment is required. Honey process retains some of the desirable characteristics of a full Natural coffee (heavy body, sweet fruitiness with lower acidity, deep chocolate notes) while also speeding the drying process considerably. As these honey process beans spend less time in water than washed beans, less fermentation occurs, which means not as much of the sugar in the bean is converted to acid.
Our Simbi Honey has indulgent flavours of butter caramel and cocoa powder, with sweet malted notes. Grab some to try while you can!