$18.50 | 12 oz bag
In 2012, the owners and producers of Remera set out to make their first natural sundried coffee. The resulting selection—first purchased by Counter Culture—was revolutionary in Rwanda and challenged the existing idea of how coffees were being processed in the country. Since then, the producers have continued to perfect the processing method, and, this year, the coffee is better than ever. Look for notes of grape and raspberry accompanied by a bright and crisp acidity.
One of the stories we heard when we first traveled to Rwanda was of Epiphanie Mukashyaka who showed up at the Partnership to Enhance Agriculture in Rwanda through Linkages (PEARL) project offices as a genocide widow wanting to know how she could build a coffee washing station. In 2003, with the help of the PEARL Project, Epiphanie was able to build her first washing station, called Nyarusiza, under her business, Bufcoffee. A few years later Bufcoffee built their second washing station—the one from which this lot of coffee comes—called Remera.
Bufcoffee is not a cooperative, however they have taken a much more symbiotic relationship with the thousands of producers with whom they work; not just paying fairly, but rewarding producers with premiums over the market and other incentives to ensure a strong partnership. Today, Epiphanie's sons, Sam and Aloys, manage the Bufcoffee washing stations and dry mill, and they are constantly working to produce the best product.
While we were visiting Rwanda in June 2012, Sam Muhirwa, one of Epiphanie’s sons and the manager of Bufcoffee's washing stations, mentioned that he wanted to produce a natural sundried coffee as an experiment. Immediately intrigued, we told him that we would buy that coffee and that he should start work on it the next day using the last pickings of the year. Sam did just that, and, that first year, Bufcoffee exported the first high-quality natural sundried coffee that we know of to come out of Rwanda. Ever since, we have tried to work with Sam to not only replicate the results, but to improve them. This past harvest, we focused solely on natural coffees from the Remera processing site, and, although the coffees arrived later than expected, this selection is not only as good as it was the first time around, but better.