Karambi is located in the sector with the same name in the Nyamasheke district, Western province. The altitude in the region starts at 1700 and goes up to 2000 masl The Nyamasheke district has the highest concentration of washing station in the entire country. The region lies along the Kivu Lake. Growing conditions are optimal here with good altitude, great soil, favourable rainfall – basically everything to produce the best coffees.
Members of the Cooperative are trained to only select the very ripest coffee cherries from their trees. During harvest, cherries are delivered daily to the Karambi Washing Station by foot, bicycle or driven by truck from a local pick-up point (they have 70 pick points in the surrounding area). On delivery, the cherries are inspected and sorted to ensure only the very ripest cherries are processed. They are then sorted by weight (and any floaters removed) and pulped on the same day.
The washed process follows the classic method for processing. The cherries pass through the depulper and mucilage removal machine. With part of the mucilage still intact, the coffee undergoes a 12 to 24- hour fermentation in concrete tanks to break down the fruit. Fermentation time depends on the weather conditions. Afterwards, the coffee passes through the washing and grading channel. The densest beans remain at the start of the channel. The beans with least density float to the end of the line.
The sorted beans are finally dried in the sun on raised screens (‘African beds’) for about two weeks. During this period, the coffee is turned several times a day by hand to ensure the coffee dries evenly and consistently. It is also sorted constantly, with any defects removed. Once dry, the coffee beans are stored in parchment, in carefully labeled day lots, until they are ready for milling and export.
RWANDA Karambi Nyamasheke
tasting notes: Orange Blossom - Clementine - Caramel
location: Karambi, Nyamasheke District, Western Province
washing station: Karambi
producer: Smallholder farmers
process: Fully washed
elevation (MASL): 1893