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Rwanda Fugi Ikizere

Notes: Grapefruit, Kiwi, Green AppleOrigin: Ngoma Sector, Nyaruguru, Southern ProvinceProducer: ...

Notes: Grapefruit, Kiwi, Green Apple
Origin: Ngoma Sector, Nyaruguru, Southern Province
Producer: Female Smaller Holders
Washing Station: Fugi
Process: Washed
Altitude: 1550-1850 MASL
Variety: Red Bourbon

A Note from the Importer, Semilla:

Fugi has long been a favourite of ours in the Baho network, producing consistently excellent washed and natural lots. Located in the Southern Province of Rwanda, it is nestled between the Nyungwe National Forest and the border of Burundi.
It’s the second smallest station in the Baho collection, purchasing cherry from approximately 950 smallholder farmers in total. This washing station produces approximately 900 bags of exportable specialty grade coffee each year.
Fugi was built in 2013, but it was purchased by Emmanuel in 2016. Since then, he’s dedicated this station to solely producing specialty grade coffee.

This particular coffee comes from the Ikizere Womens Group; this group is made up of single mothers, many of whom are widowed, and face the difficult task of navigating Rwandese society that still struggles with much patriarchal discrimination. The Ikizere lots were our highest paid coffees at the farm gate level, at about 50% over national average.

Here’s a little of what Emmanuel had to say about this group:
“Ikizere women coffee is composed by women of same identity (single mothers, head of families). The reasons why they are single mothers may differ but all people in this category face many social and economic challenges due to traditional perceptions.
We decided to bring these women together, through coffee, and revive their hope by showing them that we consider them as part of the community and they are equally needed, important, and valued like any other person, regardless of their struggle, social, and economic situation. It is a group that started in 2020, now well organized and have elected leadership to coordinate activities.
We decided to make this traditional method of coffee pulping in order to create emotional, closer relation with this lot and owners. It takes time to do such method and this helped these women to talk, discuss much about their lives, coffee, issues, and exchange ideas to overcome those issues. The time spent together pulping coffee was crucial and practically important in building their social relationship.
Recognition was one step, but we also want to advocate for them and sell their coffee to buyers who care about people, humanity, and equality. With income from this coffee, Baho promised these women to receive the highest price of cherries in the country.”

The initial steps for each process are the same: First, a day of intensive sorting at the cherry stage, under complete shade, to ensure only the ripest are chosen and any visible defects are removed. Step two is multiple rounds of floating - filling a large container with cherries and water, discarding the less dense cherries that float to the top of the tank. The densest coffees (sinkers) are reserved to be processed as the higher grade lots, and the less dense coffees (floaters) are mixed in with the rejected cherries from the initial sorting to be processed as lower grade lots. It’s expected that cherries are delivered to stations, on average, between 2 to 3 hours from picking.
When enough volume has accumulated, the cherries are depulped and the double fermentation process is started. First, a dry fermentation for 8 to 12 hours. The tank is then filled with water for an additional 8 to 12 hour wet fermentation. Once the fermentation process is complete, coffee is

pushed through the grading channels. Here the coffee is very rigorously washed to remove any remaining mucilage and separated by density. After grading, the coffees are soaked (now with no mucilage attached) in a tank of water for a final 8 to 12 hours. This is thought to promote even distribution of moisture throughout the seeds, thus leading to more even drying.
Coffee is then moved onto shaded drying beds for 48 - 72 hours. This step has two distinct benefits. First, it sets the trajectory for the entire drying phase by initially beginning very gently and slowly under complete shade. Secondly, it allows ample time for intensive sorting while the parchment is still wet - this is important because certain defects (seeds bitten by Antestia in particular, thought to cause the potato defect) can be seen much more easily when the parchment is wet.
During the first 5 days on the tables, parchment is only exposed to sunlight for a maximum of 3 hours per day, and it is manually turned every 30 minutes to avoid cracking from overly fast drying. It’s finally moved onto drying beds in full sun and turned 4 times per day. Temperature is closely monitored throughout the day - if it exceeds certain thresholds, workers will focus on turning coffee more frequently or cover the beds with mesh netting. When the moisture content reaches 11.0%, the drying phase is considered complete. The parchment is bagged and stored in a dry warehouse until time for milling. Total drying times for washed process coffee is around 30 - 40 days.


2023 Rwanda national farmgate price: 410 Rwanda Francs per kg cherry.
2023 Baho farmgate price Ikizere washed: 590 Rwanda Francs per kg cherry on delivery, 30kg second payment. 620 RWF/kg total
2023 FOT Kigali price to Baho for Ikizere washed lots: $3.40USD/lb.

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