Region: Nyamasheke District
Altitude: 1750-1800 masl
Varieties: Red Bourbon
Washing Station: Gitwe
Drying: African beds
Cupping notes: Papaya, Black Tea, Sugar Cane
Cupping score: 86.5
Perhaps the station with the most revered coffees of all our Rwandan speciality lots, Gitwe is in fact the smallest of all RTC’s washing stations in the Western Province. Covering an area of less than 1 hectare, Gitwe is blessed with being situated at the top of a mountain valley at almost 2000 metres. Just 3km from Gatare and near to the town of Kamina in the Karambi sector, Gitwe is the name of the land on which the station is built. Healthy coffee trees and tropical fruit line the trail down to the station from the road above. Gitwe was built in 2016 and bought by RTC in 2018, who employed 6 staff full time with the addition of 50 during the season. 90% of these employes are women.
Despite being a tiny station, 1020 farmers contribute to Gitwe’s annual production of 500 tons of cherry, which is all high scoring specialty quality. All of the contributing farmers have received training through RTC’ training program. Farm sizes range from just 150 coffee trees to 6000 (2.5 hectares). Thougmost farms are 2-3km from the station, many of the farmers are elderly with limited mobility and so the area is serviced by RTC through 15 cherry collection points.
The cherries are placed in a tank prior to pulping where floaters are removed. A Penagos 800 eco pulper is used here to remove the skin, pulp and 70% of the mucilage. The coffee is then dry fermented for 10-12 hours. After this the parchment is graded and washed in channels, separated into two grades based on density before being soaked under clean water in tanks for 16 hours. The parchment is dried on African drying beds for up to 15 days, the parchment is covered by shade net during midday intense sun, during any rain and at night.