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Simon's Coffee Travels — rwanda RSS

Rwanda Specialty Coffee

The country of Rwanda has changed a great deal since my first visit in 2005 —  English has replaced French as the primary second language, they have created a great deal of business infrastructure and established themselves as the business center of central African. Coffee growing has also changed a great deal, too. Rwanda has adopted much of the African coffee growing technique in terms of washing and drying.  Before the genocide most Rwandan coffee was commercial, low grade and sold to Belguim. After the genocide, when the world came to Rwanda’s doorstep, coffee was recognized as having a specialty coffee foundation similar to Kenya and Tanzania. New methods were adopted and upgraded including coffee cherry picking procedures, washing stations,...

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Rwanda Kinunu

I believe the raised-bed drying tables of Africa are the most effective of all the drying methods I have seen. Plenty of sunshine and air flow, and at a height that makes it easier for the quality control workers to sift through the coffee.  Mostly local women are hired to turn the coffee.  They thoughtfully and meticulously pull any defects out of the bean harvest, such as rocks and twigs. Their careful hands help ensure the coffee is clean and dry for proper roasting.  Watching them at work is a practice in mindfulness!

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Rwanda 2005

In 1994, along with the rest of the world, Becky and I closely followed the daily news reports of the horrifying genocide happening in Rwanda.  I trusted then that I would someday visit Rwanda to witness it’s miraculous recovery. My first visit finally came in 2005 and I was humbled to learn of the resiliency and grace of the Rwanda people.  I was also able to identify and purchase special lots of Rwanda’s high quality coffee, a small token of support for their rehabilitation of a very special country and coffee growing regions.  Coincidentally, years after the genocide, Becky and I had the privilege of meeting Carl and Teresa Wilkens in our hometown of Spokane. The Wilkens were doing humanitarian...

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