We Nitrogen Flush all of our coffee when bagging for an inert shelf stable environment by locking freshness inside for up to 6 weeks prior to opening
Mill: Kiyonza Washing Station
Region: Lake Rwihinda
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Altitude: 1500 masl
Akawa Project's newest addition started operating in 2020. It's the first station located outside the Mumirwa Province in which Akawa has historically been operating. It's presence brings this wonderful project to the border of Rwanda in the North East of Burundi. This year the station experimented with the Natural process and we are delighted with the results in the cup from this young mill.
Located on a hill overlooking the shores of Lake Rwihinda this station was built from the ground up by local implementing partner Succam in order to provide access to the market for local coffee farmers who, until this arrival, were relying on mobile buying from stations located far away. This meant they had no permanent presence to whom not only they could sell their cherries but also to have a contact point throughout the year and be able to build a trusting relationship with. Mobile units would often take advantage of this by underpaying farmers and requiring very low quality standards in order to fill their trucks. This was detrimental to both the communities in Kiyonza and the quality of their coffee. The launch of a modern washing station in Kiyonza means the farmers will now be able to deliver ripe cherries at a natural pace and will be offered agricultural advice from the project staff.
The environment in which the farmers live and grow their crops is simply one straight out of a Nat Geo documentary. With Lake Rwihinda at their feet they have an abundant supply of fish for feeding and papyrus to weave baskets and floor mats. A small island on the Lake, named Akagwa Island (a match made in heaven for our Akawa project's name), allows migrating birds from Europe to shelter and regain strength between December and April when they set on their journey back to warmer skies.
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