You will experience a Grilled pineapple and the sweetness of maple syrup, juicy green apple and lemon acidity. Remind me of a cola drink that is quite sweet with a caramel finish.
- This is the second time we are roasting Buf Coffee, and we feel privileged to work with such a dynamic, passionate, and committed family in Rwanda. This is the first time we have had the opportunity to buy coffee from the Kawanziza Farmers’ Group, and we are excited to support this community of growers from the Gasaka Village.
Region: Nyamagabe District, Kamageri Sector, Southern Province
Owner: Buf Café
Altitude: 1,800-2,000 metres above sea level
Variety: 100% Red Bourbon
Processing: Fully Washed and sun-dried on African raised beds.
Buf Awards: Cup of Excellence 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015
Malic acidity, green apples, citrus and stone fruit predominate. Floral, elegant, sweet and clean.
About Nyarusiza Kawanziza ( Buy from Melbourne Coffee Merchants)
- This coffee was produced by 43 smallholder producers who farm coffee in the high hills surrounding the Remera washing station, located in the Kamageri Sector of Nyamagabe District, in Rwanda’s Southern Province. The farmers are members of the Kawanziza Farmer’s Group, a small association of producers who deliver coffee to Buf Coffee company, who own and manage Nyarusiza along with three other washing stations.
- Most washing stations in Rwanda receive cherry from hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of farmers who own very small plots of land. Separation of such tiny lots is expensive and impractical, so the large majority of coffees are processed as a mixed lot from multiple producers. Typically, lots are separated as day lots (ie. cherries that were all picked on the same day) rather than by a single farm or producer group.
- The farmers who make up the Kawanziza group come from a nearby village called Gasaka. Recently they banded together and decided to process and market their coffees separately as a smaller, more selected lot. The group also provide each other with invaluable support, by sharing resources and labour during the busy harvest period. They named their association Kawanziza, which roughly translates to ‘beautiful coffee’ in the local Kinyarwanda language.
- To distinguish their coffee and ensure it is processed separately, the producers have organised to deliver cherries to the washing station on certain days of the week. Selling their coffee as a separate lot allows them to directly benefit from any higher prices paid specifically for their coffees (rather than these profits being shared equally amongst all contributing producers) and results in a higher income to support their families. This creates an effective incentive for the farmers to work as a collective towards achieving the very best quality, and we think the results are evident in the complex and clean profile of their coffee!
ABOUT NYARUSIZA WASHING STATION
- This coffee was processed at the Nyarusiza washing station, which was established in 2003 and is the first Buf washing station, servicing about 700 local producers. The washing station sits at 1,743 meters above sea level in the high, rugged mountains of Rwanda’s Southern Province. The area surrounding the washing station has mineral-rich soil and a lush environment that is well-suited to specialty coffee production.
- Quality control and day-to-day operations at Nyarusiza are overseen by the station manager, Celestine Uwizeyimana, who is assisted by the Head of Quality Control, Eugenie Kanakuze. Together, they ensure that the coffee is harvested and processed with care and that production standards are kept at the highest possible level. Nyarusiza provides jobs for 60 people during the peak harvest and staffs five permanent positions. At the end of each season, any surplus profits are shared with the producers and washing station managers.
- Typically, farms in Nyamagabe District are very small – averaging around a hectare (or 300-600 trees) – and are situated between 1,800 to 2,000 meters above sea level. Coffee is grown as a cash crop, alongside subsistence food crops like maize, beans and sorghum and some livestock like goats and chickens. Cows are also an important asset to a farming family. Besides having practical advantages – like providing milk and yoghurt to feed the family, producing excellent manure for the coffee farms, and being an opportunity for additional income – they are also a traditional symbol of wealth and status in Rwanda.
ABOUT BUF COFFEE
- Buf Coffee was founded in 2000 by Epiphanie Mukashyaka, a pioneering businesswoman and a source of inspiration to countless other female entrepreneurs in Rwanda’s coffee community, and beyond. Buf is owned and operated by Mukashyaka – known to all as Ephiphanie – and her son, Samuel Muhirwa, who has taken an active role in the day-to-day operations of the business. The word ‘Buf’ is derived from ‘Bufundu’ and refers to the former name of the region in which all of their washing stations are located.
- Epiphanies story is one of great resilience and fortitude. After losing her husband and a child during the horrific 1994 genocide, Epiphanie was faced with the responsibility of independently caring for and rebuilding a life for her seven surviving children. With limited education and little money or support, Epiphanie – whose husband was a coffee farmer – decided to focus on coffee as a means to a better and more stable livelihood. By participating in the USAID-financed program, Partnership for Enhancing Agriculture in Rwanda through Linkages (PEARL), Epiphanie began to learn more about specialty coffee propagation and processing.
- This transformational program aimed at switching the focus of Rwandan coffee production to quality, rather than quantity, thereby ending reliance on the notoriously volatile coffee commodity market. Rather, farmers were given access to far higher-earning specialty coffee markets. The program and its successor, Sustaining Partnerships to Enhance Rural Enterprise and Agribusiness Development (SPREAD), have been invaluable in helping to assist Rwanda’s small-scale coffee farmers to rebuild their production in the wake of the genocide, and the world coffee crash of the 1990s.
- Using the knowledge and resources she gained through PEARL, along with a small loan from the Rwandan Development Bank, Epiphanie was able to establish Buf Coffee in 2000 and purchased their first washing station – Nyarusiza – in 2003. She was the first woman to own a private coffee company and establish a washing station in Rwanda. As Epiphanie says, “I came up with the idea to build this, and nothing was going to stop me.” Nyarusiza was followed by Remera in 2007 and now the family also own two other washing stations, Umurage and Ubumwe.