New in June: Rwanda – Kabirizi

May 28, 2015

Rwanda KabiriziRwanda Kabirizi is big, bold and rich. The aroma is intense with berry and spice. Complex, bright acidity supports a lingering sweet finish.

Flavor Profile

  • Dry aroma: roast pepper, spice, raspberry
  • Wet armoa: rich, malty, dense, fruit
  • Body: full
  • Acidity: complex, bright
  • Aftertaste: sweet, caramel, molasses

Geographic Profile

Rwanda KabiriziRwanda is a small, land-locked country situated just south of the equator. Topologically it is hilly and mountainous with an average elevation of 2000m. In the west of the country and 1400m in the east, Rwanda has an area of 26,000 square kilometers and the capital city is called Kigali. With a population of 8.6 million people, it is the most densely populated African country. Almost 30% of Rwanda is cultivated for food crops, and coffee is mainly grown in the areas along the shore of Lake Kivu or in the central high plateau. Both of these areas have good, fertile soils.

Coffee was first established in Rwanda with seeds from Guatemala in 1905. These seeds were grown in the vicinity of a mission called Mibirizi, and the variety of coffee named after this mission is still grown in Rwanda today. Although this variety is able to thrive in the local conditions it does not have a high yield, so coffee of higher yielding varieties were introduced from Kenya and Reunion. The Belgium authorities actively promoted the growth of coffee from the late 1920s by planting it alongside roads and paths, which allowed smallholders to gain an income. Even today coffee is the major cash crop for most Rwandan farmers.

The Co-op

Rwanda KabiriziCOOPAC is a Fairtrade certified cooperative that began with 110 farmers in 2001 and today has over 2,200 members. COOPAC is committed to environmental and social sustainability in addition to producing high quality coffee. Waste by-products created during the coffee washing process are used as fertilizer rather than discarded into the lake, and shade trees are distributed to farmers to prevent soil erosion. COOPAC has assisted in the construction of a school, health-care clinics, and roads and bridges in the community, and has a program to distribute cows and goats to the most productive farmers. COOPAC also provides farmers with an agricultural adviser to educate the growers about the latest production methods.

Share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone