Shyira Coffee Washing Station
Region: Nyamasheke District
Altitude: 1500 - 2000 MASL
Variety: Red Bourbon
Screen Size: 15+
Preparation: Euro Prep 0,20
Packing: Ecotact, 60kg
In Rwanda, we work alongside Muraho Trading Co. This partnership helps affiliate co-operatives increase their quality of production, fetch a higher price for their coffee, and introduce them to new markets. This will be a continuous work in progress in the coming years, as we gain a greater understanding of the particular challenges Rwandan coffee producers face.
Through this process we can develop a model that creates incentives that generate producer buy-in, all the while maximising impact. We supply coffee from across Muraho’s washing stations, which are located in the Nyamasheke, Gakenke, and Nyabihu regions of Rwanda.
Built in 2017, Shyira Washing Station is a station situated at 2000 MASL, collecting cherry from neighbouring producers that live between 2000 - 2400 MASL. This is the highest grown coffee we know of in Rwanda, and it’s from a region where very few washing stations are located, making it somewhat unique. It also happens to be located in one of the most stunning areas in Rwanda. It has a river running through the base of the station making water access no issue. All cherry is hand-sorted before a pre-pulp float, underripe or damaged cherry is removed, along
with any foreign objects. Next, cherry is floated in pre-pulping tanks removing any floaters and then pulped. Coffee is later fermented in dedicated concrete fermentation tanks for an average of 8 hours. During this time the ferment parchment is agitated several times throughout the day by way of ceremonial foot-stomping.
Every Muraho washing station has its own washing station song. These have been created to instil a sense of pride and ownership to both full time and casual workers. Throughout the day groups of staff join together in song, dancing in the fermentation tanks, singing through five iterations of their song while stomping on the parchment. The process takes about 20 minutes and all the while, the fermentation process is assisted with the agitation of the coffee during the fermentation stage. This process is quite an experience to partake in!
Nyabihu District - Landslides 2020
In May 2020, devastating rains, flooding and heavy mudslides hit the Nyabihu District in northern Rwanda. Nyabihu is home to the families that produce the popular Shyira and Vunga coffees that you may know and love. Communities in Shyira and Vunga have lost loved ones, and their livelihoods.
Physical losses include at least 325 homes (including 38 homes of families that deliver coffee to Vunga or Shyira), livestock, coffee trees and other crops. Vital community and utility infrastructure have also been destroyed including 36 classrooms, 12 churches, a healthcare centre, the Vunga market, and electrical and water supplies.
For some of you, this disaster will speak very close to home, having either visited these communities in person, purchased their coffees for your roasteries, or worked with them in your cafes.
For the more than 300 families that deliver coffee to Shyira and Vunga, the direct cost to replace lost crops and buildings reached USD $132,000. An estimated USD $41,000 was required immediately to help deliver food, water, and clothing to those who have lost their homes.
In addition, much of the land is no longer suitable for planting - farmers have lost not only their crops and income for the coming season but the assets that they could use to earn future income. This is on top of the impacts of COVID-19 that were already reducing the income of farmers this season.
This coffee has an initial light, bright flavour profile, giving way to a clean yet complex finish reminiscent of a rich syrup of marmalade toast. It will give you a delicious filter coffee or a bright espresso.