Apricot - Mandarin - Black Tea
Producer: Marie Bedabasingwa
Region: Gakende District
Altitude: 1950 masl
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Relationship Length: Two Years
Transparency Report: Available Here.
Espresso Recipe: Available Here.
Notes Sweet, mouth-filling stone fruit with juicy mandarin and floral black tea.
It’s rare to find a coffee that’s traceable back to a single Rwandan producer. This is why we feel privileged to share this special lot from Marie Bedabasingwa, a woman of incredible resilience and commitment to her craft.
Marie was born in 1955 and widowed in the horrific Rwandan genocide of 1994. Faced with the responsibility of caring for her five surviving children and rebuilding their lives, Marie began shifting her energy into coffee production.
While we’ve enjoyed many years of purchasing from the Ruli washing station, this is the first time we’ve managed to buy from a single producer. Typically, Rwandan washing stations receive cherries from hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of farmers who own very small plots of land. Separation of such tiny lots is near impossible - and not at all practical. As a result, most lots are delineated by day of picking rather than producer or group - but not this gorgeous single origin!
The fact that Dukunde Kawa Cooperative (of which Marie is a member) now has its own dry mill is another reason we can access this coffee. The mill allows not only the processing of smaller lots but the assurance of quality control at all stages of production. Dukunde Kawa also has a wonderfully transparent relationship with its members, paying a fixed rate for coffee delivered to the station at the start of each harvest, plus a second payment later in the season. It provides agronomy training to producers, has helped to build a best-practice model farm and community classrooms, and offers access to fertilisers and organic pesticides, school fee assistance, and medical insurance. Incredible.
To learn more about Transparency in coffee pricing and why it's so important, check out our Transparency Project.