Red bourbon variety, washed process
Roasted for filter brewing
Forest fruits, dried apple, and baking spice
This coffee comes to us from father and son producers, Alex and Aimé Gahizi’s Gitesi washing station in the west of Rwanda. We’ve been working with the Gahizis for a decade now, and value the relationship immensely.
While the coffee washing station was started by Alex Gahizi after the Rwandan genocide, today it’s largely operated by son, Aimé and his team.
Located in the Western Province, the Gitesi operation extends beyond just the washing station to a collection of around 20,000 coffee trees, owned by the Gahizi family. Here, they’re able to experiment with innovative sustainable agricultural techniques and different varieties of coffee trees.
Traditionally, the vast majority of coffee cultivated in Rwanda is a red bourbon variety, and this lot is no different. In future seasons, we hope to be able to source from some of the newer varieties being grown.
At Gitesi, ripe coffee cherries delivered daily from nearly 1,800 local smallholder farmers are hand-sorted before pulping — a process that removes the skin and majority of fruit flesh from the seeds inside. The coffee then undergoes around 16-hours of dry fermentation and a 12-hour freshwater soak before being dried on raised beds for up to 15 days.
When recently I asked Aimé if he had a message for the people buying and drinking his coffee here in Australia, it was this:
“This partnership represents success and achievement to all of us, but this couldn't be possible without you — our customers. We value your trust in us and all your support since year one, we sincerely appreciate you!
We are here to serve, satisfy your needs and ready to continue supplying you high quality coffee and be always consistent with our products.
As you continue increasing the quantity of coffee you drink, make sure that you value the efforts and sacrifice of our farmers — at the same time you are contributing in increasing their income, so too their wellbeing.
We are so excited and proud to be in your service."
This year’s washed red bourbon selection that we’ve bought is sweet, fruit-forward, and rich. It offers a dried apple sweetness, some of the tingly character of forest fruits, and an aromatic baking spice finish.
Our relationship with Gitesi goes back ten years. Tim has been buying coffee from Alex and Aimé since 2013, and for the last four years here in Australia. This year, we have done so directly, with the help of exporters Rwanda Trading Company, and importers Sucafina.