Region: Western Province
Altitude: 1750-1900 masl
Varieties: Red Bourbon
Washing Station: Mahembe
Drying: African beds
Cupping notes: Lemon, Date, Cola
Cupping score: 86.5
Mahembe is a privately owned washing station, owned by Justin Musabyimana who also grows his own coffee. Justin grew up in the local area and, after moving away for some time, decided to come back home and invest in the community by building a wet mill on his father’s coffee plantation.
He has an 8-hectare farm of his own, and buys cherries from the surrounding smallholders.Justin’s organised operations, plus the work he is doing on the ground to improve quality, gives great results in the cup.
There are a number of smallholder farmers in the local community delivering their cherry to Mahembe washing station for processing, and Justin is producing cherry himself. Maintaining a good supply of cherry is dependent on the relationships Justin has with farmers, and being able to offer competitive pricing. His roots and history in this community help him strengthen these relationships.
Justin and the staff at Mahembe are very competent, and trained in managing the delivery of cherry from the farmers. They have very strict routines for cherry reception and sorting, cherry delivered by farmers must be sorted by the farmers themselves The cherries are placed in a tank prior to pulping where floaters are removed and processed separately as lower grade coffee
The coffee is then dry fermented for 10-12 hours. After this the parchment is graded and washed in channels, it is separated into two grades based on density before being soaked under clean water in tanks for 16 hours.
The parchment is initially taken to pre-drying tables, which are under shade, and where, while the parchment is still wet, a lot of hand sorting is done as it is much easier to see defects at this point. The parchment is dried on African drying beds for up to 21 days, during which time the parchment is covered by shade net during the hottest hours of the day, at night, and anytime it rains.