Rwandan Coffee

Rwandan coffee beans are known for their high density coupled with sweet, floral taste with hints of lemon and orange and a very rich aroma with citrus notes. The body is creamer and acidity bitter sweet.

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Rwanda Coffee

Coffee beans from Rwanda are among the most sought beans in the world. The coffee has both an exciting and interesting taste and history. The country is very small besides being landlocked and is located in eastern Africa not far from the popular coffee growing countries; Kenya and Ethiopia. Coffee was first introduced in Rwanda in the 1900s. Initially the coffee was in large quantity with a great lack of quality. Low graded coffee was most grown especially in the colonial government era before gaining independence in the mid of the 20th century.

Rwanda also suffered political turmoil which left the country almost in shreds greatly affecting the coffee industry. A national strategy on coffee reinvention was one of the factors which helped Rwandan coffee industry recover and start producing high end coffee beans. Just in about 20 years the country has turned to be among the 330 best coffee producing nations. Most of Rwandan coffee producers are small scale.

Coffee growing regions and conditions

Most of Rwandan coffee is high grown and the altitudes vary from about 4000 to 6500 feet above mean sea level which is perfect condition for growing good quality beans. 95 percent of the coffee bean in Rwanda is the high grade bourbon coffees. Local coffee growing seasons is around September and October where this continues up to march to July which is the harvesting periods.

Processing the Rwandan coffee beans

The general method for processing coffee in Rwanda is through wet processing. The country has invested a lot of time and effort not to forget a lot of resources to establish communal coffee washing facilities around the country.

The small scale coffee growers are not capable for creating washing stations individually like those of large estates across the world. This is due to the fact that the coffee growers in Rwanda do not specialize in coffee growing alone but other agriculture activities also like the food crops. For this reason the establishment of society coffee washing stations has aided the farmers in decent coffee washing stations helping to improve the yields and the grade of coffee.

Tasting and flavor of the Rwandan coffee

The Rwandan coffee tastes and flavors vary greatly though there are some common tasting elements. Rwandan coffee is basically silky in touching, creamed body, and buttery and rich in flavor. The coffees are also floral tasting with citrus and fruity flavors topped up by mild savory notes.

The floral notes are characterized by the Ethiopian notes like the cinnamon, cloves, caramel sugar, nutty and other fruity and spicy notes. The acidity is bright and strong and is both sour and sweet owing to the high altitudes and climate. Rwandan acidity in coffee is almost similar like that in Kenyan beans.

To top it up the taste of the Rwanda coffee is a mixture of berry, redcurrant, fruity with floral taste. The aroma has citrus notes especially lemon and orange. The undertones are white chocolate rich with caramel.

Coffee growing regions in Rwanda

There are very many varying coffee growing regions in Rwanda though some got more weight than others. The capital city, Kigali and the Rwandan western part are both packed with coffee plantations. These two regions are the heart of coffee growing in Rwanda.

In the east of the nation is the region around Kivu Lake where coffee is grown. The varieties of coffee grown in this exceptional rich and fertile environment are also outstanding. The coffee crops are grown is high grown and tends to delicacy and it is also composite with a flavor that have cherry, lime, cocoa and sweet orange hints. The coffee is best served as espresso or drip brewed.

Brewing the Rwanda coffee

The best method for brewing the delicate and gently flavored Rwandan coffee is through pour over, filtering or drip brewing. The method used should be able to highlight the rich flavor of the beans without overdoing it. Immersion methods for example the French press makes the coffee too intense for your likening. Using a more gentle method to brew the Rwandan coffee brings out the citrus and floral flavors well without over extracting them.

The other reason that makes the Rwandan coffee favorable for pour over is the reason that they are grind smoothly and fine and thus suitable for using a chemex filter or a dripping method. This method draws all the favors well without being extra strong for your taste like the immersion method would do.

Roasting the Rwandan coffee the most perfect way

Beans from the high grown Rwanda region are very dense and requires a lot of heating. Less heat will simply just bake them. Light roasting best highlights the fruitier and acidic flavor what most people may like to go with. However city roasting or dark roast will do the beans justice by highlighting its best qualities and giving them a nutty smoke taste without ruining them.

Where to get the most quality coffee beans from Rwanda

The sweet Maria’s Rwanda beans are usually un-roasted / green beans and gives you total knowledge on how to go about making the best coffee cup from the Rwandan beans. The beans are usually referred to as karongi gitesi. Other places include amazon for Rwandan blends and green beans and Rwandan Bean Company for single origin beans.

The state of coffee production in Rwanda

With political crises in the 90s living the industry almost down, the coffee growers in Rwanda worked hard in the beginning of the 21st century to ensure the industry thrives again. The infrastructures were destroyed, coffee cheap and the quantity and quality was much poorer.

Today the country consist of more than 500 000 small scale coffee farmers who produce one of the good quality coffees in the world. Government effort to establish washing stations that are more advanced, communal facilities have added value to the country’s coffees.

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