tasting notes: BLACKBERRY - BUCKWHEAT HONEY - ASSAM TEA
location: GATSIBO DISTRICT, EASTERN PROVINCE
producer: EMMANUEL RUSATIRA, BAHO COFFEE
washing station: HUMURE
variety: RED BOURBON
elevation (MASL): 1.500-1.835
Humure, named after the highest hill in the area, is located in the Eastern Province of Rwanda. It was newly constructed in 2017, and Emmanuel Rusatira purchased the station in 2018 after watching it be very poorly managed throughout the year. He has significantly invested in infrastructure - new fermentation tanks, new washing channels, and larger storage units - thus, the production capacity has increased by nearly 20 times in the past two years.
Humure is currently the largest station that Emmanuel owns -producing just over 4 containers (1300+ 60kg bags) annually and employing 220 people during the peak of the season. What is special about this station is that it is entirely managed by women. After washing the coffee, the water is captured and pumped back up on the hill for reusage. Along with the practice of partial washing, the women try to use as little water as possible. After pulping, the coffee is spread out on drying beds with the mucilage remaining on the parchment. This causes the honey flavour to develop.
Emmanuel supports farmers with access to fertilisers, helps them to check the condition of their trees and shares valuable knowledge about best farmer practices. Furthermore, he supports the farmers by covering their social insurance and giving them second payments at the end of the crop. Emmanuel focused heavily this year on growing Baho’s seedling distribution program - 50,000 were distributed to the Humure farmers in 2019. Emmanuel has found that with his higher cherry prices, producers are becoming rapidly more interested in investing in their coffee farms and growing future production.