Our 2018 Reserve coffee is a blend of two farms supplying the most amazing coffee and both make a positive impact in the coffee industry. In the first of a series of interviews with the farmers we talk with Gaudam, and Karthick at the Shyira Washing Station in Rwanda. Their story highlights why we wanted this coffee to be part of the 2018 Reserve and how we as roasters and consumers can support local initiatives.
What led to your decision to establish the Shyira Washing station in Rwanda?
MTCo. wanted to expand our regional flavour profiles and look for a very unique area of Rwanda that not only has tremendous potential in quality but also where we could make a bigger impact through coffee. We travelled extensively through Rwanda, did our research until we decided on Nyabihu District. At the time, there was only one existing station owned by co-operative of farmers (with whom we have also partnered), therefore set out to build Shyira CWS with the belief of making an impact in the area and producing a truly unique style and taste of coffees that differs from all other Rwandan coffee.
Why does the area produce outstanding coffees?
The weather conditions, soil type, and its high lands with an altitude of + 2000m makes Shyira CWS an ideal setting for high-quality coffee processing and production. In addition to this, when you reach on top of the Shyira hills, you get the best view that you will hardly experience at any other CWS area in Rwanda. The chain of volcanoes (Where the Mountain Gorilla habitats come from), waterfalls of the Gicice river together with its valley full of white sands, fogs covering hills, good weather, and temperature distribution ...etc make this area truly unique and one of a kind. We nickname Shyira CWS our little baby!
Why does every Muraho Trading Co. have its own washing station song?
With regards to the MTCo. Song, we came up with the idea to install this song in order to create a vibe/feeling of togetherness whereby our respective coffee washing station families have the freedom to express what they wish. Meaning what they sing changes every time and it’s not standard which reflects what our company is all about. The one thing that remains consistent is the “Hobe Hobe Hobe !” which is our company’s slogan. This essentially ties into our entire company values, ethos and day to day operations which is all heavily to do with FAMILY and more importantly that we are all part and one of the MURAHO FAMILY.
What influence has the station on the quality of living and quality of the crop at the surrounding farms?
The station has had a very big influence in the one year of existence. Shyira CWS created many jobs for the surrounding community and hence, we provide many options for income generating activities (not only farming). Young (Youth) people were given jobs from construction stage and during the coffee harvest. Women who make up 75% of our workers have found a second option for home income hence improved food quality and living conditions in general for their families. We have supplied Farmers with the knowledge, equipment, and training of better agricultural practices in order for them to get better yields from their trees. Further to this we have nurtured and distributed a total of 55,000 seedlings. We also paid “Mutuelle de Sante” (local health insurance) for the entire year for all our Shyira farmers.
This is the first in a series of interviews with the producers of the coffee sourced for our 2018 Reserve Blend. Available to order now.