Late in 2019, Ben at Sun Dog Trading reached out to us about a new partnership he had started with Emmanual Rusatira featuring relationship centered coffees from Rwanda. For over 10 years, Emmanuel had worked for foreign coffee traders and more recently has branched out on his own through the management, ownership and coordination of washing stations throughout Rwanda. Last year, we proudly offered a beautiful lot from the Muzo Washing Station and this year we have brought in a small washed lot from 13 Farmers who live/farm on Bikunda Island. This lot was processed at the Akagera Washing Station and is another great example of the quality of coffee that can be achieved when relationships and traceability are prioritized.
The farmers who contributed to this lot include: Emmanuel Torero, Esperance Nyirantezirembo, Felecien Rekayabo, Valerie Nyirandikubwimana, Valens Nirere, Francois Ufwashwenimana, Pierre Nukuri, Faustin Sayinzoga, Pierre Nirere, Pierre Nyabyenda, Fabrice Ntirivamunda, Venant Ugirashebuja, Vincent Rucamubicika.
Similar to many African countries, local washing stations play an important role for farmers since most farms are very small (compared to those in Central and South America). Most farmers bring their harvested coffee cherries to these stations where they are processed and homogenized together (not in a bad sense) to make up lots. This Bikunda Island lot is special in many ways since traceability down to the farm level remains intact and we look forward to continuing to deepen our relationships with Emmanuel and Ben for years to come.