A deep and rich complexity is what this coffee brings to the cup. Lots of layers of flavours and aromas – a blackberry-like acidity, a deep cacao note alongside aromas of dried figs and cinnamon, finishing off with a sweet and lingering aftertaste that reminds us of salted caramel. Definitely one of those coffees to sit down, relax and enjoy every last drop of!
This coffee is from a private washing station named after the Gitesi sector in the Western Province of Rwanda. The washing station was built in 2005 and is owned and run by a father and son team, Alexis and Aime Gahizi. In the early years they were struggling to keep the washing station operating, and they have fought hard to make it a profitable business. Finally in 2010, they managed to turn a profit and have since built a sustainable company.
The Gahizi family has been growing coffee in this region for generations and has very strong relationships with the 1,800 coffee farmers in the local community who deliver coffee cherries to Gitesi. The washing station has also implemented a bonus system based on performance, paid out to the farmers at the end of the year.
Aime, the son, has worked alongside his father Alexis who is greatly respected and has much experience. He has a degree in engineering and has created a very comprehensive water purification system for the washing station which due to its success is being used as a model for future water purification systems for washing stations. Aime represents the next generation of coffee farming in Rwanda, investing energy and drive to push Gitesi’s production and infrastructure to the next level while also running some projects to help distribute cows, fertilizer and grow vegetables on the coffee farms during off-season to generate alternative income for the farmers of the region.
The coffee cherries are picked between May and July. Once they reach Gitesi washing station they are placed in a water tank prior to pulping where floaters are removed. After that, skin, pulp and 70% of the mucilage are removed and the coffee is dry fermented for 10-12 hours. Consequently the parchment coffee is graded and washed in channels, it is separated into two grades based on density before being soaked under clean water for 16 hours. It is then taken to shaded pre-drying tables where, while the parchment is still wet, a lot of hand sorting is done as it is much easier to see defects at this point. The final drying phase is done on African drying beds for up to 15 days, during which time the parchment is covered by shading nets during the hottest hours of the day, at night, and any time it rains.
Rwanda Gitesi - Fully Washed
Region: Karongi District, West Rwanda
Farm: Gitesi washing station
Altitude: 1750-1800 masl
Producer: Alexis and Aime Gahizi
Process: Fully Washed
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Tasting Notes: Blackberries, Cacao Nibs, Salted Caramel
Recommended for: Espresso and Brewed Coffee