Special Release - Rwanda Mahembe Murundo, Light Roast
Cupping notes: Spiced Plum/Cherry/Walnut/Savory/Citrus
Co-Op: Murundo Washing Station
Region: Mahembe Sector, Nyamasheke District, Western Province, Rwanda
Altitude: 1700 – 1800 meters
Process: Triple Washed Raised Bed
One of this year’s suite of coffees from the boutique Kivubelt group in western Rwanda, this lot is an outturn from the Murundo Coffee Washing Station (CWS), one of two processing sites the Kivubelt company operates. “PF” in Kivubelt’s nomenclature refers to “People Farm”, another term for smallholder coffee growers and the households they support. 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. 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. Murundo’s coffees in particular are full of complex sugars, currant-like acids, blackberry and spice flavors, and round, soft textures.