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Impressions: blackberry, strawberry rhubarb jam, cocoa, brazil nuts
Roast degree: medium (2.5/5)
Region: Southern Province
District: Nyaruguru District
Variety: Red bourbon
Export partner: Baho Coffee
Partner importer: Semilla
Farmers: 23 smallholder women producers (names in our transparency report)
The Fugi Ikezere producing group is an all-female operation that it is made up of single mothers, many of whom are widowed. They face the difficult task of navigating Rwandese society which is still plagued with patriarchal discrimination and gender biases. Supporting those women was important to Baho and Semilla, and we are glad to be able to offer this to you.
By buying this coffee, you contribute to women empowerment and positive purchase social development. The relationship between the group and Baho greatly improved their farmer’s quality of life, and we hope to keep buying this coffee next year.
This delicious washed coffee underwent a rigorous processing at the washing station, so make sure you check out the processing details and brew charts!
A few words from the importer, Semilla:
“Back in 2019, Emmanuel (from Baho) presented to us a handful of lots that were traced back to communities living on specific hills near his washing stations. As this is quite unique for East African coffees, this initiative immediately sparked our interest and kickstarted our discussions on how we could expand and deepen this type of traceability.
As buyers, it’s always exciting to find more information about where coffee is coming from; but additionally, Emmanuel made it very clear that it was helpful to Baho and their producer network as well. By connecting more closely with producers this way, we’re able to ensure we continue to build with them into the future and this motivates these growers to work with Baho, and also inspires growers around them as they see a possibility not only for solid pay for their coffee cherries, but also for recognition and relationships not normally offered to smallholder growers.”
Washing Station: Fugi
Farmers: 23 small holders
Exporter: Baho Coffee
Importer: Semilla Coffee
Price we paid Semilla for the landed coffee in Montreal: 4,50USD/lb (additional cost of around 0,35CAD/lb for transport from the port to our roastery)
FOB price: 3,15USD/lb. This is the price paid by Semilla to Baho for the coffee up until the coffee is securely in the container, ready to depart origin.
Farmagate price, aka the price paid to the 23 farmers for their cherries: 450 Rwandan Francs per kilo of cherries. + 50 Francs after the cherries are processed.
As a comparison, the national farmgate price was of 245 Francs. Semilla paid 80% above market price.
Semilla and Baho worked hard to ensure a level of transparency, traceability and market access that is rare in the country. Not only are the farmers well paid, they can share their coffees with the world because of the work they do. We are very happy to have this coffee on the menu!
The group of 23 smallholder farmers is comprised of only woman, and has been bought by Semilla for the second straight year. Introducing the Fugi Ikizere Group
Costasie Mukamuzima, Epiphanie Ntawangaheza, Theodosie Uwambajimana, Adidja Nyiracumi, Vestine Sindikubwabo, Josephine Uwimana, Bernadette, Mukandemera, Christine Utarengejeho, Berancilla Baravuga, Mariam Kabagwira, Verediane Mukamparirwa, Angele Mukanyonga, Venantie Nsaguye, Speciose Nyirantashya, Drocelle Nyirarugwiro, Christine Nyandwi, Alphonsine Mukamugema, Seraphine Mukaremera, Marguerite Niyongere, Venantie Mukakizima, Veronique Niyonizeye, Cecile Nyiraminani, Emerance Hategekimana.
This washed coffee is excellent and brings a bright, yet easy to drink cup.
At first, we felt a lot of strawberry-rhubarb jam, making the coffee super fruity, round and sweet. Those first sips have never been better!
It then transforms into a brighter cup full of fresh blackberries.
The fresh cacao notes and Brazil nut aftertaste (almost like butter) make the coffee super smooth with a very pleasant lingering effect.
|Espresso||18 g||2.2:1||35-40 sec|
|Espresso with milk||18g||2:1||36-40 sec|
|Americano||18 g||2.3:1||30-35 sec|
|23 g||16.5:1||3:45-4:15 min|
Chemex & Batch Brew
|40-60 g||16.5:1||4:00-5:30 min|
|18-25 g||16:1||4:00 min steep time|
Ikizere Washed Processing at Fugi
Cherries are brought to Fugi washing station within a few hours of picking, and undergo intensive hand-sorting to ensure only the ripest cherry is selected. These cherries then undergo multiple rounds of floating to remove the less dense
coffees. The highest quality cherries are placed in sealed bags and left for overnight for approximately 12 hours.
In the case of Ikizere coffees, as they were manually depulped, the cherries are left to soak for 10 hours to soften them from the seed and aid in separating the skin from the mucilage and seed.
After manual depulping, coffee moves directly to the grading channels. Here the coffee is rigorously washed to remove any remaining mucilage and separated by density. After grading, the coffees are soaked (now with nearly no mucilage attached) in a tank of water for a final 8 to 12 hours. This is thought to promote even distribution of moisture throughout the seeds, thus leading to more even drying.
Coffee is then moved onto shaded drying beds for 48 - 72 hours. During the first 5 days on the tables, parchment is only exposed to sunlight for a maximum of 3 hours per day, and it is manually turned every 30 minutes to avoid cracking from overly fast drying. It’s finally moved onto drying beds in full sun and turned 4 times per day.
Temperature is closely monitored throughout the day - if it exceeds certain thresholds, workers will focus on turning coffee more frequently or cover the beds with mesh netting.
When the moisture content reaches 11.0%, the drying phase is considered complete. The parchment is bagged and stored in a dry warehouse until time for milling.
Total drying times for washed process coffee is around 30 - 40 days.