Gisheke - Rwanda

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Tasting Notes: Plum, Molasses

Hale Taste Scale: 9 - fruity sweetness with a long finish

Varietals: Red Bourbon

Process: Washed

Elevation: 1,650 - 1,850 masl

Region: Nyamasheke District, Rwanda

Harvest Month: Year-Round

Price Forward paid per kilogram: $7.60 USD FOB

Harvest date: May - June 2022

Fermentation: Cherry is pulped and left in ceramic, open-air tanks, with a maceration known as Ikinimba to activate the sugars prior to fermenting for ~15 hours 

Drying time: ~30 days dried raised beds

Drying temperature: 34 °C Max. - 16 °C Min.  

Rainfall:  1000 mm/year

Humidity: 75%

The Gisheke Story:

Gisheke is a washing station that is currently only accessible by boat or by foot. The times we've visited, we have gone by boat through Lake Kivu. On the way, we pass by Mushungwe Island, which is inhabited by approximately 200 Rwandan families. These families grow coffee and contribute their cherries to Gisheke. 

Sitting in the Nyamasheke District of Rwanda, Gisheke is a beautiful terrain and has idealistic characteristics for both growing and processing coffee. Sitting between two hills that funnel winds in from Lake Kivu, coffee is dried fully on raised beds for extended periods of time. These times will get up to 30 days for washed coffees and 40-45 days for honeys and naturals.

Only in operation since 2018, Gisheke is a relatively new washing station on the scene in Rwanda and has already seen rapid accent of quality, thanks to the success of Muraho Trading Co and the knowledge they have attained from nearby sister stations. 

For other amazing, available coffees from Muraho Trading Co, please visit this link.

Josue, the station manager, is highly focused on improvements in all aspects but finds the most fulfillment comes with noticeable impact on processing. These coffees are clean, sweet and showcase a refreshing winey acidity.

The washed coffees at Muraho Trading Co go through a stage of maceration, leading to more juicy, aromatic, fruit-forward flavours in the cup. This maceration stage is called 'Ikinimba,' and works in a similar styling to the classic stomping of grapes in the production of wine. In Ikinimba, 6 - 8 members of the processing team will actively stomp and sing a routine of songs, providing energy and activating the coffee for fermentation. Following Ikinimba, the coffee goes through a serpentine channel to sort the seeds, and then is separated into different grades of density, and dried in small separate lots.