Region: Rusizi District, Western Province
Town: Rutsiro District
Coffee Washing Station: Musasa
Altitude: 1526 masl
Variety: Bourbon, Jackson, Mibirizi
Tasting notes: red currant, lemon ice tea, milk chocolate, silky
Musasa CWS lies at 1,526 meters above sea level in the high altitude hills of the Congo Nile Trail – practically on the banks of Lake Kivu. The Trail features 227 km (141 miles) of beautiful landscapes, including rolling hills and clear water. The washing station began operations in 2013 and since then has gone from strength to strength, including a Cup of Excellence win in 2011.
1,750 growers deliver to Musasa, around 23% of whom are under the age of 35. Musasa sees these young growers, the youngest of whom is only 20, as the future of Rwandan coffee. Although farm sizes are small, at only around .18 hectares on average, farmers receive regular training in organic composting, renovation, harvesting techniques and other agricultural practices that ensure optimal growth for their small farms. The utmost care is taken with quality from the very beginning.
All farmers delivering to Musasa CWS live within a 15 km radius. After selectively hand-harvesting their coffee, they transport the cherries to the washing station using a variety of means. Cherries are then inspected and hand-sorted to remove any damaged cherries or underripes before they are weighed and loaded into the station’s pulper. Farmers receive a payment in line with the quality and quantity delivered.
After pulping, coffee is delivered to one of the washing station’s 300 drying tables. Once here, the parchment will be turned every 30 minutes initially and covered during the hottest part of the day.