Huye Mountain (Rwanda) Coffee 250gSteampunk Coffee Roasters
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Tasting notes: Hard candy sweetness, Lemon & Earl Grey
Region: Huye District
Altitude: 1600 - 2300
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Process: Fully washed
Rwanda is blessed with ideal coffee growing conditions that include high altitude, regular rainfall, volcanic soils with good organic structure. This coffee is from the washing station that has recently been made famous in Stumptown Coffee Roasters’ film - ‘A Film about Coffee’. It is located on the slopes of the Huye Mountain in the Huye District in South Rwanda and was established in 2011. It is a private washing station owned by David Rubanzangabo who is something of a philanthropist. He cares deeply about the smallholder farmers who deliver their coffee to his station, of which there are around 1,330. His drive for quality has brought about a big increase in prices for local farmers. Typically a small holding is just quarter of a hectare in size with around 200 trees. The yield is about 4 KG of cherry per tree so ultimately each farm produces only 2 bags of coffee. It is entirely bourbon, which, coupled with an altitude ranging from 1,600 to 2,300 MASL, brings about such complexity of great flavours in the cup.
Harvesting normally takes place between February and June. The freshly delivered coffee is inspected to ensure only good red and ripe cherries are included. Then it is put into the receiving tank and inferior floaters are removed. The denser, high quality cherries are then pulped in a locally made disc pulper before entering a concrete fermentation tank where they are held for 12 to 15 hours. It is a dry fermentation process meaning that extra water is not added. After this time the mucilage is loose enough to be washed away and now the tank is filled with water, the coffee turned with a large wooden paddle and then drained. This process is repeated a further 4 times to ensure the coffee is clean before being channelled through water (and further floaters removed) before being transported to raised beds for drying. Initial drainage drying is under shade as the coffee could be damaged at this point if the heat is too high. Then it is taken to the drying tables under full sun where an army of colourfully clad women sort the beans by hand, removing defects and turning it regularly. This can take between 15 to 20 days. The parchment coffee then goes to storage to be held for two months while it conditions (the evening of moisture content) before being trucked to the mill where the parchment is milled away and the coffee packed for export.
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