If you speak to coffee lovers and ask them to name their favorite origins in Africa, Rwanda will always be within the top 3.

Regarded as the smaller cousin to Kenya and Ethiopia, Rwandan coffee has historically been held in high esteem due to it climate, topography and Bourbon coffee variety brought in by the Germans in the early 1900’s.

It is hard not to fall in love with Rwandan coffee, particularly when you start to meet the people, take in the scenery and enjoy its truly unique flavor attributes, largely due to its structure, sweetness and versatility to be enjoyed as filter and espresso.  

The Rwandan coffee industry is almost considered a cottage industry, with no large estates or cooperatives. The production is mostly small-scale farmers and their families all producing coffee in their backyards on areas no larger than a hectare. What makes Rwanda unique in a sense is that it almost exclusively grows Arabica coffee from a lineage of Bourbon varieties. This may change in the future, but at the moment this is strictly controlled by the government and prohibited. 

Our field trip to Rwanda was purpose driven to access new working partnerships and also search for coffees that we could share with our customers worldwide. Our travels took us to Nyamasheke District, Nyabihu District and to the West to visit the Rukori Village.

As with a neighbourhood, each district visited we learned about their particular growing attributes and what benefits they had in terms of production and overall cup quality. From the south to the north, each district and washing station offered a different taste experience, and also an emotive one with beautiful people and views to enjoy. As with any coffee growing area, it is the people that bring the energy and dedication to producing quality coffee, and our partnerships with Sucafina and also with the family owned Muraho Trading Company set the platform for us to access these beautiful coffees. 

Actually, the potential of the Rwandan coffee market is dynamic, particularly if you consider that the first private washing stations were built in 2001, and with many more new stations being built, this opens up the potential for coffee producers to benefit from the higher-earning specialty coffee market. 

Coffee is such a complex and challenging commodity to perfect, from its growth to its conception whilst roasting and brewing. Our work is only possible through the dedication of the many thousands of coffee families that choose to grow coffee, and at times for a small monetary return. We continue to travel the world in pursuit of these communities that make coffee their livelihood and share it would our customers through taste, stories and images.