This lot comes from the Jarama Coffee Washing Station (CWS), one of two processing sites the Kivubelt company operates. Cyiya is a small community with a high elevation and distinct forest influence that contribute great potential to the coffee. Thanks to the farmers making the most of this potential, Cyiya’s coffee is annually among the top lots processed by the Jarama CWS.
Kivubelt was established in 2011 by Furaha Umwizey, after returning to Rwanda with a master’s degree in economics from Switzerland. Born and raised in Rwanda, Umwizey’s goal with Kivubelt is to create a model coffee plantation, as sustainable in agriculture as it is impactful in local employment and empowerment. The company began with 200 scattered acres of farmland in Gihombo, a community in Rwanda’s coffee-famous Nyamasheke district that runs along the breathtaking central shoreline of Lake Kivu. Under Umwizey’s leadership, Kivubelt has planted 90,000 coffee trees on their estates, which now employ more than 400 people during harvest months and is a kind of coffee vocational school for local smallholders interested in improving their farming. Kivubelt has also acquired two washing stations, Murundo and Jarama, which combined not only process coffee from the company’s estates, but also that of more than 500 smallholders in the region, offering quality premiums and training programs for participating farming families.
A very fresh and tasty African. Enjoyable at any roast level; a medium to dark roast was our favorite. Medium roast points you get a smooth cup on the nutty/chocolaty side, sweet tea flavors and a hint of citric. A little herbal spice lingers in the aftertaste but very mild comparatively to most Africans. Darker roasts add complimenting roasty notes, a sweet and smoky chocolaty cup that is jazzed up with a little spice, lower acidity and fuller bodied. One can take it lighter if you want to boost the acidity and citric/floral tones but it does risk a little vegital note right at first crack.
This coffee roasts well from light to dark. Push lighter if you want more fruity acidity; darker if you want roasty chocolate notes. Medium to low chaff, even roasting, can darken up a bit quickly in the roaster so make sure you see the expansion in size if shooting for a lighter roast point.
This lot from Jarama CWS was picked across March, April, and May by the station’s participating 100 local smallholders from Cyiya. Cyiya sits inland from the lake on the outskirts of Nyungwe National Forest Park, a rainforest preserve known for its gorillas, virgin canopy, and chilly, oxygen-abundant biosphere. Because Cyiya’s coffee tends to perform so well, contributing farms regularly receive 50% over the local market price for their cherry.
The Nyamasheke district in Rwanda is gifted in terroir. The cool, humid climates of both Lake Kivu and the Nyungwe Forest National Park keep groundwater abundant throughout the uniquely hilly region. Kivu itself is part of the East African Rift whose consistent drift creates volcanic seepage from the lake’s bottom and enriches the surrounding soils. Coffees from this region are often jammier and heavier than in the rest of the country. Coffee from Cyiya’s farmers in particular are honey-sweet and tend to be delicately floral, with lychee, citrus, and sweet tobacco flavors.
100 producers from Cyiya and organized around the Jarama Coffee Washing Station
Local bourbon varieties
Cyiya, Western Province, Nyamasheke District, Rwanda
Fully washed and dried on raised beds