Located in the most south western Rusizi region of Rwanda, Nyakarenko washing station is located close to the Cyamudongo highland forest. The area surrounding the washing station has an average elevation of around 1,900 metres above sea level providing producers with superb growing conditions.
While these producers are located at a relatively high elevation, the washing station lies a lot lower. This not only makes it easier for producers to deliver their daily cherry (being downhill!) but places the station closer to a water source for processing and provides much more favourable conditions for drying.
Since the drying capacity of Nyakarenko is very limited, the production of specialty coffee has been at the centre of their efforts. The washing station managers place great focus on selection of cherry, incentivising farmers with payment in line with the quality of cherry delivered.
This coffee was grown by Efrain and his wife in the famous Pitalito region of Huila, Colombia. After carefully handpicking only the ripest cherries, this lot was then exposed to dry, anaerobic fermentation for 28 hours after which it was sundried on raised, African style beds. This lot is 100% Gesha, after being discovered in Ethiopia in 1931, it made its way through Central America in the 1960’s and was first planted in Colombia in 2005.
MICROLOT: Burundi Yandaro
Dried cranberry, 80% dark chocolate, juicy mouthfeel, tangy apple acidity.
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Cupping Score: 87
Volcanic soil, high altitude and rainfall, as well as a dry harvest season create perfect growing condition for Burundi. This lot is from the Yandaro washing station located near the border with Rwanda.
The Kibira rainforest surrounds the growing areas that Yandaro services providing a healthy ecosystem that helps retain groundwater reserves and soil nutrition. Yandaro provides a purchase and processing point to over 3500 local farmers from the 22 hills surrounding the station.
MICROLOT: HONDURAS LA CASCADA
Cupping Score: 87
Dagoberto Martínez is a third-generation coffee farmer who believes quality is derived from great attention to detail in every step of the production process. This meticulous approach produces coffee with exceptional results.
Dagoberto selectively harvests his coffee and dries it on concrete patios for about 25 days. Thanks to the income he has received from his coffee, Dagoberto has been able to care for his family, giving them a better life and supporting their education.
Floral, red grape, milk chocolate, juicy.
MICROLOT: Costa Rica Finca Chispita (Filter Roast) 150g Tin
Toffee, red apple, lime cordial, hazelnut praline.
Country: Costa Rica
Processing: Golden Honey
Cupping Score: 89
SL-28 isn’t common in Latin America, making this Golden Honey lot particularly special and a unique opportunity to experience the influence that terroir has on this varietal.
Carlos Barrantes’ family has owned and operated the Herbazu micromill since the early 2000s. With a desire to focus more on producing unique, quality coffees, Carlos decided to set out independently, and now owns five small farms and the La Perla Del Cafe micromill with his wife, Diana. A small production of only 300 bags per year allow the Barrantes to dedicate their efforts to producing quality coffees with meticulous attention to detail. They even work with the exact same pickers every year – a group of 45 indigenous people from Panama who travel to the farms every harvest season, and with whom the Barrantes’ keep in touch, like family, the rest of the year.
The mill produces mostly honey and natural coffees. Carlos likes to experiment with different varietals, currently growing Gesha, Villa Lobos, Typica, Villa Sarchi and SL-28. This particular lot is an SL-28 varietal, of which Carlos was the first producer in Costa Rica. Native to Tanganyika (now Tanzania), and related to Bourbon, SL-28 was selected from a single tree by Scott Laboratories in 1935. Highlighted for its drought resistance, the SL-28 was considered the prize varietal of the 1935-1939 intensive breeding by Scott Laboratories. It is now one of the main varietals grown throughout Africa and valued for its high cup quality despite its susceptibility to major diseases.