Rwanda has had a difficult time in the past couple of years, with extreme weather conditions causing massive landslides in the Nyabihu region. Many of the coffee growers from Shyira and many other stations lost homes and loved ones as a result. This is part of the reason we continue to exclusively buy our Rwandan coffees through Raw Material, who as a Community Interest Company return all profits to the coffee producers they work with. Alongside this, they also set up an appeal fund to try and raise the money necessary to replace loss of earnings from crops lost and rebuild buildings, supply clean water, feed and house all those displaced by the flooding.
Large areas of land are now no longer farmable, meaning that many farmers will never regain their livelihood. If you are able to, please consider donating what you can to the fund Raw Material have set up HERE.
Despite everything, the Shyira Washing Station continue to deliver incredible crops. Here’s a little bit of information from Raw Material about the current lot we have on offer:
All cherry is hand-sorted before a pre-pulp float, underripe or damaged cherry is removed, along with any foreign objects. Cherry is then floated in pre-pulping tanks removing any floaters and later pulped. Next, coffee is fermented in dedicated concrete fermentation tanks for an average of 12 hours. During this time, the fermented parchment is agitated several times through the day by way of ceremonial foot-stomping. This is to encourage lower density parchment to float and to clean any residual mucilage off the parchment. Once the parchment is separated into grades, it is given a final post-wash rinse. At this point, coffee is then taken to a pre-drying area where the parchment is hand-sorted removing any insect-damaged, discoloured or chipped coffee. Parchment is then laid out to dry where it is turned on a regular basis throughout the day for 30 days.