Our strictly high grown coffee enjoys consistent weather because of Nyungwe Forest National Park
About the area
Found on the shores of Lake Kivu, and a stone’s throw from Nyungwe National Park, the Gasharu washing station is located near the Rwanda Congo-Nile divide, which reaches elevations of 8,500 feet (2,600 meters). Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the largest montane and most preserved rainforests in Central Africa, home to huge biodiversity and an estimated 25% of Africa’s primates.
This region’s elevation, soil, and climate are what coffee trees love best. No surprise then that some fantastic coffees come from our land, known for their round, complex profile packed with citrus and other fruits. The coffee season in Rwanda runs from February to July. Every year, Gasharu coffee employs nearly 400 locals with the majority being women.
After arriving at the washing station, cherries are floated and pulped, using a McKinnon disc pulper. After this pulping stage, the coffee in parchment undergoes a dry fermentation for 16 - 18 hours before the remaining mucilage is washed off. The mucilage removal is followed by soaking, grading by coffee density before sorting.
Well trained women sort coffee at this stage mainly to remove all green beans, destroyed beans by machine, infected beans by insects, and other wastes before drying. After sorting, coffee is dried on raised beds with a mesh bottom (allowing for air circulation). The wastewater from the processing is treated with Effective Microorganisms to secure the local water resources for the nearby community. Coffee beans are air- and sun-dried between 9AM-3PM depending on the sun intensity. The drying process taking 10days to 14 days depending on the weather.
Gasharu Coffee started natural coffee processing in 2018-2019. This first lot was exported to the USA and South-East Asia and received overwhelming appreciation for its smoothness and taste. Natural sundried processing also known as dry process, unwashed or Natural process is the process by which the coffee bean (fruit) when ripe, it is picked and allowed to dry completely around the seed before hulling.
Although this method is the most traditional, it is not currently widely done in Rwanda due to the lengthy processing time. The coffee beans can take up to 6 weeks to dry, hence costly human power to look after the beans as they dry and the opportunity cost of not using the drying tables for washed coffee that takes only 2 weeks. Nevertheless, the energy and time spent on this coffee are compensated by the high-end quality product coming out such effort.
WE GIVE EXTRA CARE
Gasharu coffee has worked hard to establish coffee plantations with favorable density and has worked with the community to develop best practices to ensure proper density, favorable soil, and a favorable mix of plants that coffee plants to yield good cherries.
Our family and our community are committed to protect the environment to ensure optimal coffee-growing conditions for our coffee plantations in particular cool to warm tropical climates, rich soils, and few pests or diseases.
The majority of coffee farmers and employees working at the coffee stations have known the family their entire life. The family has a small local resto-bar where most people hang out, watch football, and hold family meetups. In difficult times the community has always supported our family. Our family also does its best to never let any community member down.
Quality & Innovation
Valentin, our third born and Gasharu coffee general manager did his education in agriculture and business and is pursuing his passion in the coffee industry. He is one of the emerging leaders in coffee trading and his skills in coffee farming and processing has already been recognized by the Rwandan coffee community with his nickname "Natural Coffee Boy".