After recently spending three weeks in Rwanda I am pretty confident that the coffees we will get out of there next year will be amazing. We will aim at early shipments in July targeting coffees from the peak of harvest during April/May.
We will also do a trial for Pulped Naturals and Naturals during fly crop as the weather conditions in November makes the drying of these coffees easier then during main harvest. We did some trials in the end of harvest this year and the potential is amazing. If it works out we will try to import a mixed container of limited quantity beginning of 2012.
Initially we will work with a handful of producers to begin with. For most of the producers we have an action plan for the upcoming crop. If they manage to fulfill their promises on necessary steps agreed up on this year we will contract the coffees early 2012. This helps the producers to get financing and invest in equipment and give incentives to farmers for ripe cherry selection/picking to get sweeter coffees. All of this producers will be separating daily lots for us to cup post harvest to determine different lot sizes for shipment.
From the washing stations Nyaruzisa and Buf Remera in the south we will do coffees selected from certain areas with great altitude. I have known this producers for years, and I know what qualities they are capable of doing. The coffees will be processed separately for Nordic Approach during the peak of harvest with high maintenance on cherry ripeness and processing. We will also do trials on different processing methods for micro lots and different grading based on bean size. The producer will do the milling and exports based on our instructions. These coffees are pulped by disc pulpers, dry fermented and soaked in clean water before sorting of wet parchment and sundried.
If it all work out as planned we have one or two washing stations in the North/East. One of them, the Turengere Kawa is located at 2000 meters and the coffees are super crisp and pretty amazing. They are in the process of investing in more equipment and rebuild their soaking tanks and washing channels. Hopefully they will make it before the harvesting season kicks in so they are able to focus 100% on their processing during high season. This coffee is processed by Penagos aquapulpers, soaked, washed, hand sorted and sundried. With this groups we contract the coffees direct and the miller and exporters get a fixed fee as a service provider for milling, bagging, handling and logistics.
We are also looking in to organic coffees from the West, at the Lake Kivu. They are still in the process of getting certified. If they work it all out and if the cup quality is attractive we will make sure to get hold of that coffee for next year as well.
The same group of producers has different washing stations as well as their own dry mill and cupping lab. So far the most ambitious group I know in Rwanda in terms of producing quality at a larger scale with full control of all steps through the chain from cherry selection to export.
We will try to develop this relationship, especially on up-scaling quality to shipment of full containers direct to clients capable of buying FOB. We will here be able to cup daily lots from specific farmer groups and areas to ensure that the quality is there as well as follow up dry milling and shipment.
All the millers and exporters we cooperate with in Rwanda are capable of milling small lots and keep full track of each batch through the system. Containers will be consolidated if necessary. They will all be graded and prepared according to uour instructions and handsorted for all defects.