It can take several hours for producers to carry their coffee cherries to the Coffee Washing Station (CWS) this is to facilitate ‘Cafecultuerurs de Gishoma’ located in Cyangugu on the southern shore of Lake Kivu, right on the border crossing with DRC Congo. The original name of the district was called Gashonga, so that name has stuck. The area is where the first coffee trees were planted in Rwanda by Belgian white colonial farmers.
This speciality coffee has a hint of tangerine and notes of fudge and demerara sugar.
Rwanda Gashonga is grown by COCAGI (Co-operative des Cafecultuerurs de Gishoma). They are located in Cyangugu on the southern shore of Lake Kivu right on the border crossing with DRC Congo. When we first got to know them the original name of the district was called Gashonga, so that name has stuck. The area is where the first coffee trees were planted in Rwanda by Belgian white colonial farmers.
Like most of Rwanda they are blessed with the perfect climate to produce specialty coffee, good altitude and rich volcanic soils. They produce 100% bourbon cultivar which has a distinctive cup profile of sweet rounded tangerine acidity, morello cherry notes in the aftertaste in this medium bodied cup. It’s a delicious component of Union’s Revelation espresso.
Gashonga are in a remote area which has influenced the development of key self-reliance skills. They are motivated and focussed towards achieving sustainable livelihoods for their community. Just like Maraba, our relationship with Gashonga is not “just a buyer”, but to provide long-term support to so that farmers we engage with can prosper:
- Minimum purchasing commitment to give members of the co-operative with the security they need to invest in their land and locality. - Forward financing, either directly or via financing agencies. This ensures cash is available to pay farmers at the time of picking and also enables essential supplies that directly affect coffee quality to be purchased. - Visits at least every 12 months to develop strategy for the season, to assess quality and review for the following year. - New projects to improve capacity building and strengthen governance and leadership within the co-operative.
Much progress has been made at the Co-operative level with the installation of additional de-pulping machines at coffee washing station that have increased capacity and income.