One the goals going into a new Rwanda season this year was to diversify the profile range. To that end we asked our long-term partners, Aime & his father at the Gitesi washing station, to prepare some naturals for us. It was their first time with this process. Always exciting!

To sell naturals in Rwanda, first you need a license, and to get a license you need a guaranteed buyer. Otherwise it is illegal to produce naturals. With a commitment to buy the coffees from Nordic Approach, Aime and his father went to the Rwandan National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) to get approval.

All that was needed then, was to learn how to process natural coffees. So Aime went to other washing stations to watch their method, and a  friend from another station came to visit him to see how it was going, and lend a hand and advise where needed.

Here is the protocol they developed: 

For naturals it is vital to only select the best cherries from what was picked in the morning and is being brought in to the station daily. For this reason the cherries were picked over a longer period, from the 13th of May to the 25th of June. Once delivered the cherries are immediately sorted and floated, then laid out on the drying tables in a single layer, with no overlapping cherries, to ensure even air circulation. 

During the drying period, Aime and his team covered the beds with shaded nets when the sunlight was too intense. Plus, while the coffee is on the drying bed, a team hand sorted everyday to remove any defective cherries. 


Aime was up for the challenge, and damn, he delivered!

This harvest we have three lots to offer, and we are certain that both quality and volume will increase in the coming years. The best thing about these three lots is that they’re very diverse in profiles. 

Combined with the strict cherry selection of the coffee coming in to the station from all the smallholder farmers surrounding it these truly are wonderfully successful community lots.

Here are the three profiles to choose from: 

Gitesi #5
Super syropy and sugary, filled with ripe fruit and a hint of citrus in the finish but a balance to hold it all together:

Gitesi #6
For the fruit-lovers:
1 Word – P. A. P. A. Y. A.

Gitesi #7

This is probably the lot that best represents the Gitesi profile we are accustomed to tasting: full of tea and floral notes with a funky twist. If that’s your thing go for this lot:

There is so much potential here, and we will continue to work with Gitesi in the coming years. With pre-commitments and calibration of our taste profiles, together we can make sure to get you the lots you’re looking for.

Our first container has already landed in Belgium and has been cupping incredibly well.

The second, with these naturals, is scheduled to arrive in Belgium mid-to-end November.

Get in touch with us if you’re looking for more info, samples or pre-reservations.

Have a great week and don’t forget to smile, 

– Jamie


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