Women's Crown Rugori, Rwanda
Region: Nyamasheke, Western Province
Farm: Gasharu CWS
Variety: Red Bourbon
Process: Washed Experimental
Altitude: 1.600 - 2.100 masl
Cupping score: 87.25
CUPPING NOTES: Floral, red berries, baked apple, herbal, sweet lime, orange.
Tea-like, clean, and delicate.
“Making women’s coffee work count” – This is what inspired Rugori - Women’s Crown - Gasharu Coffee, a fully washed experimental microlot that is solely produced and processed by women.
Urugori “women’s crown” is a crown that women in Rwanda are given after giving their first birth as a symbol of motherhood. It is a symbol of respect and recognition of their contribution to society. Considering that more than 70% of Gasharu Coffee employees are women, this coffee is meant to continue recognising women’s contribution to the coffee community and creating a transparent framework that benefits them with additional proceedings resulting from their work.
This is not only fair to them. It is also a great contribution to their households and the environment as a whole. It has already been evidenced that by adding more money into the hands of women, communities eradicate malnutrition and illiteracy. It also catalyzes girls’ education. All of these are critical for women empowerment.
Meet the farmer
The story of Gasharu Coffee goes back to 1976 when 17 years-old Celestin Rumenerangabo planted his first coffee trees in Nyamasheke.
A farmer and buyer of cherries, he grew the business to what it is today.
The year 1983 was a turning point for Celestin. He got married to Marie Gorette, a 22 years-old teacher. With Marie Gorette and his mother in the house, Celestin's coffee business became a true family business. Together, they established more partnerships with coffee farmers and new farms. Because of Celestin's wife teaching background, the business also started to support schooling for children from coffee farming families working with the family.
They now have 2 washing stations, Gasharu and Muhororo, and can export beans from nearly 1650 farmers directly.
Today, the farm is managed by Celestin's soon, Valentin Kimenyi.
Over the last 43 years, they've maintained an unwavering dedication to making the highest-quality coffee they can.
Coffee has been critical to rebuilding the community after the 1994 Tutsi Genocide and it remains an important part of their culture and ways.
"With local businesses being taken over by large multinational companies, we are aware that we have to make Gasharu Coffee more resilient. We have improved our sourcing and processing methods, encouraging curiosity about innovative ideas to take coffee to the next level, producing naturals, honeys and experiments" says Valentin.
After arriving at the washing station, cherries are floated and pulped, using a McKinnon disc pulper. After this pulping stage, the coffee in parchment undergoes a dry fermentation for 16 - 18 hours before the remaining mucilage is washed off. The mucilage removal is followed by soaking, grading by coffee density before sorting.