Red bourbon variety, washed process
Roasted for filter brewing
Blood orange, kola nut, and butterscotch
This coffee comes to us from Bernard Uwitije’s Bwenda coffee washing station, located in the hills of Nyamagabe, Rwanda.
Bwenda is one of three coffee washing stations owned by Bernard, who grew up in this part of southern Rwanda. The coffee itself is grown by 1,552 smallholder farmers who either deliver directly to Bwenda or to one of its 15 local collection sites.
Bernard built the facility in 2018 having realised that a group of farmers in the area were quite isolated from their nearest washing station, meaning they had to make a long journey each day to sell the coffee cherries they’d picked. This was not only laborious and inconvenient, but the travel bruised the fruit and impacted coffee quality negatively. The washing station commenced operations the following year and now offers the surrounding coffee farming community somewhere local to deliver their cherries for sale and processing.
Like much else of Rwanda, the variety grown here is red bourbon, which we value for its concentrated sweetness and red fruit characteristics.
The coffee is hand-sorted for ripeness and floated to remove any under-ripe or damaged cherries before pulping on a traditional 4-disc pulper. With the skins removed, the cherry seeds are dry fermented for 12 to 14 hours before washing, grading, and drying on raised beds for 18 to 30 days.
Beyond buying cherries from local farmers, Bwenda also provides free coffee tree seedlings and training in Good Agricultural Practices to nurture them. This upcoming season will also see the introduction of a Penagos Eco-Pulper to replace the current machinery and with it, a reduction in the amount of water used during processing.
We’re finding the filter roast of Bwenda to be sweet and balanced, with a juicy blood orange-like character, underpinned by baking spice and butterscotch sweetness.
To quote the owner, Bernard: “Bwenda is young but very promising and we are enthusiastic about the future. We thank Fieldwork Coffee for choosing Bwenda…and look forward to a long term relationship with you.”
This is our second year buying from Bwenda, and have done so through Rwanda Trading Company with import logistics by Sucafina.