While touring Nyamasheke District, I visited Kivu Belt Coffee’s Jarama coffee washing station. Founded in 2011, Kivu Belt Coffee has three plantations and two washing stations in the area.
Altitude levels, humid equatorial mist and rich volcanic soil form a recipe for the production of high quality coffee. No wonder, the Kivu Belt is attracting investors in the sub sector.
Before I visited Jarama washing station, I went to the plantations and traced the genesis of the beverage I can’t do without. When I set foot on the hills on which Kivu Belt Coffee is grown, I was awestruck by beauty.
Kamajumba and Nyaruzina estates are breathtaking peninsulas. Jarama, on the other hand, is part of the grandeur of hills embellishing the shores of Lake Kivu. If you consume this brand, your coffee comes from paradise.
Rwandans started growing coffee in the early 1900s. Most beans produced in the country are either bourbon or bourbon-derivative. There are more than 400,000 coffee farms in the country, covering an area of more than 42,000 hectares. Annual production ranges from 267,000 to 420,000 bags per year.
A coffee plant produces its first flowers three to four years after planting. It is from these flowers that the fruits, commonly known as cherries, appear. Harvesting takes place when green cherries turn red.
Like other stations in Rwanda, Jarama applies wet processing. Also known as washing, this method involves the use of substantial quantities of water. Here, beans are removed from the cherries and dried. We call them beans because of their resemblance to legumes. Technically, they are seeds.
Learning how to process coffee in a hands-on way is a very fulfilling experience. If you are a coffee enthusiast, visiting coffee washing stations is highly recommended.