Guest coffee March 2020: Rwanda, Ngoma District

Origin : Ngoma District (Sake Washing Station)

Altitude: 1450m

Varity: Bourbon

Process: Fully washed

Tasting notes: Tropical fruits and all spice.

 

Ue Coffee Roasters, Chemex, drip coffee 

We are really proud to be showcasing a Rwandan coffee from the Ngoma district as our guest coffee. March 8th is International Women's Day and as a country, Rwanda represents the true power and strength of women kind. Not only this, but the Sake female owned washing station and surrounding farms produce some deliciously sweet and fruity coffees. Rwanda is known as the ‘Land of a thousand hills’, which gives it the altitude and weather to grow great coffee.

 

We are committed to environmentally and socially sustainable coffee practices and will invest time and understanding into our coffee’s traceability. As a company, gender equality and empowerment of women at home is of great importance to us and it would be a contradiction to not consider this in the farms where our coffee is grown.

 

Rwanda female led coffee industry

 

Following the mass genocide of 1 million people in the early ‘90’s, Rwanda found it’s most valuable export, coffee, decimated. With 70% of its population being female the process to rebuilding was not an easy one.

Rwanda, once thought of as a ‘dead nation’, has risen from a genocide-torn country to become the most represented place of equality for women in the world. The horror of their past has made way for a unique female-led African nation which has helped them heal from the unimaginable.

A huge part of the restoration of Rwanda has been in the coffee industry, which has been led by women. Coffee has become a symbol of positivity in Rwanda by building infrastructure, educating and pioneering gender equality. One of the most fascinating things about Rwanda is that since 2003 Rwanda’s Constitution has required women hold 30 percent of elected positions. Today, with 49 women in parliament (33 are shown here), that figure is 61 percent—the highest in the world. Four of the seven supreme court seats are held by women.

 

Rwanda's women in parliament

 

The Sake Farm (where our coffee is washed) is owned by Marie Laetitia Kayitesire who planted its first trees in 1999. Today it harvests 30 hectares of Arabica Bourbon variety trees. She secured the original investment to build a coffee washing station there, which not only serves Sake Farm, but also buys and processes the coffee from 2,200 smallholder farmers in the surrounding areas, creating the basis for a successful infrastructure.

Maria has big visions for her plantation, for women and for the community. She is a board member of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) and a member of SheTrades meaning that the coffee is IWCA certified. Her words “umugore n’umugabo ni magirirane; baruzuzanya” translate as “man and women walk together for our wellbeing”. This message resonates with us and ensures that we not only have great tasting coffee but that at the source, we work in a humanitarian forward and environmentally sustainable industry.

 

To find out more about International Women's Coffee Alliance:

https://www.womenincoffee.org/

To find out more about International Women's Day:

https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

To find out more about the women of Rwanda:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2019/10/how-women-are-remaking-rwanda-feature/