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Rwanda Kivubelt Nyaruzina

$ 19.00

Today, Rwanda is one of the most rapidly modernizing countries on the African continent, and Kivubelt is a shining example of modern, focused entrepreneurship and coffee growth.  One of this year's exceptional coffees from the boutique Kivubelt group in western Rwanda comes from the Nyaruzina Farm, a 40-acre estate operated by Kivubelt in the Nyamasheke region.

The Nyamasheke district in Rwanda is gifted with unique coffee-growing terroir. The cool, humid climates of both Lake Kivu and the Nyungwe Forest National Park keep groundwater abundant throughout the uniquely hilly region. In addition, Kivu is part of the East African Rift, whose consistent drift creates volcanic seepage from the lake’s bottom and enriches the surrounding soils. As a result, coffees from this region are often jammier and heavier than in the rest of the country.

Aroma: Fresh damp rainforest petrichor, softly earthy forest aromas
Cup:  Full and velvety, very smooth and clean with dense oak and freshly baked bread
Finish:  Clean cinnamon bark with a hint of sweet cream; great for mochas or lattes

One Pound

   

About this Coffee

GROWER: Nyaruzina Farm
REGION: Gihombo Sector, Nyamasheke District, Western Province, Rwanda
ALTITUDE: 1550 - 1700 meters
PROCESS: Fully washed and dried in raised beds
VARIETY: Local bourbon varieties
HARVEST: February-May
SOIL: Volcanic loam
CERTIFICATION: 

One of this year’s exceptional coffees from the boutique Kivubelt group in western Rwanda comes from the Nyaruzina Farm, a 40-acre estate, one of three estates owned and operated by Kivubelt in the Nyamasheke region. This lot from Nyaruzina was picked and processed across February, March, April, and May by the farm’s 120 employees.

Kivubelt was established in 2011 by Furaha Umwizey, who returned to Rwanda with a master’s degree in economics from Switzerland. Born and raised in Rwanda, Umwizey’s goal with Kivubelt is to create a model coffee plantation as sustainable in agriculture as it is impactful in local employment and empowerment.

The company began with 200 scattered acres of farmland in Gihombo, a community in Rwanda’s famous coffee Nyamasheke district that runs along the breathtaking central shoreline of Lake Kivu. Under Umwizey’s leadership, Kivubelt has planted 90,000 coffee trees on their estates. Kivubelt employs 400 people during harvest months and is a coffee vocational school for local smallholders interested in improving their farming.

Kivubelt has also acquired two washing stations, Murundo and Jarama, which combined process coffee from the company’s estates and more than 500 smallholders in the region, offering quality premiums and training programs for participating farming families.

The Nyamasheke district in Rwanda is gifted with unique coffee-growing terroir. The cool, humid climates of both Lake Kivu and the Nyungwe Forest National Park keep groundwater abundant throughout the uniquely hilly region. In addition, Kivu is part of the East African Rift, whose consistent drift creates volcanic seepage from the lake’s bottom and enriches the surrounding soils. As a result, coffees from this region are often jammier and heavier than in the rest of the country.

Coffee estates like Kivubelt’s are rare in Rwanda, where the Belgians initially forced coffee upon remote communities as a colony-funding cash crop. The Belgians distributed varieties cultivated by the French on Ile de Bourbon (now Reunion Island, near Madagascar) but had so little invested in coffee’s success that they immediately allowed it to decline through a lack of investment in both infrastructure and the farmers who grew it.

As a result, the sector suffered near total obscurity in the coffee world from Rwanda’s independence in 1962 until the period of rebuilding following the country’s devastating civil war and astonishingly tragic genocide in 1994.

However, Rwanda’s former cash crop would roar to international buyer attention in the late 2000s thanks to East Africa’s most successful coffee intervention, the Partnership for Enhancing Agriculture in Rwanda Through Linkages (PEARL).

PEARL was a sweeping infrastructure and education investment targeting large regions of Rwanda whose coffee was mainly processed poorly at home and exported with little traceability. The program, designed and led by the University of Michigan, Texas A&M, and a host of Rwandan organizations, vastly increased processing hygiene by building washing stations. It also organized remote and under-resourced smallholders into cooperative businesses capable of specialty partnerships.

But, perhaps most significantly for the long term, it took the abandoned legacy of bourbon genetics and polished them anew to the amazement of coffee drinkers everywhere.

In the decade following PEARL and subsequent investments in the country’s coffee sector, buyers now have an awe-inspiring reference for how snappy, mouth-watering, and kaleidoscopic the bourbon lineage can be.

Today, Rwanda is one of the most rapidly modernizing countries on the African continent, and Kivubelt is a shining example of focused entrepreneurship within the modern landscape.

Get this in a 5 pound bag


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