Rwanda Karambi Women's Coffee Filter

Rwanda Karambi Women's Coffee Filter

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Plum, Red Apple, Purple Grape

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Washed - Red Bourbon - Southern Province


This special micro lot was produced by a group of women who are members of the Koakaka Cooperative, located in the Southern Province of Rwanda, at the edge of the Nyungwe rainforest.

In the local Kinyarwanda language, Koakaka stands for the ‘Coffee Growers’ Cooperative of Karaba’. The cooperative was established in 2002, with three farmers associations merging together (Karama, Kiyamakara and Rukondo).

The majority of Koakaka’s members are very small-scale producers who typically own less than a quarter of a hectare of land on which they cultivate an average of only 300 trees, alongside other subsistence food crops such as maize and beans.

The cooperative has two fully operational washing stations, Karambi, in Huey, and Muganza, in Nyagambe. They are also currently building a third washing station called Mbazi which is located just over the border of Nyagambe (near Buf Cafe’s washing stations).

This particular lot was processed at the Karambi washing station which was established in 2003. This washing station has around 1,316 members, 292 (22%) of which are women.

Recently, the women of Karambi banded together and created an association, and made the decision to seperate their coffee and market it as their own. To distinguish their coffee and ensure it is processed separately, the women of the cooperative have organised to deliver on specific days of the week.

As members of the cooperative the members are guaranteed a minimum price for their coffee cherries, and are paid a good price to ensure the very best quality cherries are delivered. In addition to this they receive a bonus which is directly linked to the quality and prices paid for the coffee. By separating their coffees out, the women are able to directly benefit from any higher prices paid specifically for their lots (rather than these profits being shared equally amongst all members). This creates a very important and effective incentive for them to work to hard as a collective towards achieving the very best quality possible; and the results are evident in the cup…  We cupped all of the lots from the cooperative on a blind table – and this coffee was our hands down was our favourite!

All of the members contributing to this washing station enjoy perfect conditions to grow exceptional coffee, with high altitudes (averaging 1,685–1,870 metres above sea level), good rainfall (1,100–1,300mm annually), and steady temperatures averaging around 17–18 °C. 130 seasonal workers are employed by the washing station during the harvest, with a further 11 full time staff overseeing all operations of the cooperative and both washing stations all year round (6 of whom are women).