After a three year hiatus, we are happy to finally have a Rwandan coffee that passes our quality and taste testing. Our Rwanada Rushashi Hingakawa is a Fair Trade certified, light bodied, soft coffee, with an orange blossom aroma and a clean finish.
The Hinga Kawa Cooperative was founded in 2004 to help support women growers and farmers in Northern Rwanda, and they received their Fair Trade certification in 2005. About 35% of the members are widows. The Rushashi region is ideally situated for coffee production, with an altitude of 5,500 to 6,200 feet (1,700 to 1,900 meters) above sea level, with a harvest season of April to July.
From the “Brief History of Abakunda Kawa,” from the Optco Website:
“The cooperative decides a collection site and day for their coffee to be transported to the CWS (Coffee Washing Station). The women harvest the coffee and it is picked up by bicycle and brought to the CWS. The CWS process coffee two days per week and segment their coffee during the processing and on drying tables (18) to conclude the separation.”
This particular Rwanda is also a Cafe Feminino coffee, meaning that grants allow the cooperative to provide organic fertilizer, accounting training and production planning, micro-finance and personal finance classes, as well as health care and education for the workers and their children.