February 6, 2012

BufCafé Red Bourbon

This week we've brought in a sweet and rounded little number: Bufcafé Red Bourbon from the Bufundu region, Nyamagabe in Rwanda.

Well-rounded, Candied Orange, Plum, Vanilla

Red Bourbon

Washed and Dried on raised African beds

1600-1900 M

2000 Small shareholders

A little more info from our roaster Detour Coffee:
This 100% red bourbon coffee is grown at altitudes of up to 1900 metres in the south of Rwanda. BufCafé is owned and managed by Epiphanie Mukashyaka, a dynamic businesswoman and a source of inspiration to countless other female entrepreneurs in Rwanda’s coffee sector and beyond.

Epiphanie was widowed during the 1994 genocide - which claimed over 800,000 lives in just 3 months - but chose not to leave her family’s small coffee farm. Instead she set about rebuilding and developing her business, and with it the local community. She started Buf Café in 2003, with a loan from the Rwandan Development Bank and the assistance of the USAID-financed PEARL project.

This transformational programme was aimed at switching the focus in the Rwandan coffee sector from an historic emphasis on quantity to one of quality - and so opening up Rwanda to the far higher-earning specialty coffee market. The programme and its successor, SPREAD, have been invaluable in helping Rwanda’s small-scale coffee farmers to rebuild their production in the wake of the devastating 1994 genocide and the 1990s world coffee crash.

Buf Café now owns two coffee washing stations, as well as its own coffee trees, and buys coffee cherries from as many as 7000 surrounding smallholder farmers. Some of these farmers are also employed to work at Buf‘s washing stations, where they are paid a premium above the average local wage. The idea is that well paid workers are more likely to care about their jobs and so take pride in the quality of Buf’s coffee. And this appears to work - quality control at Buf is impressively high and it has had several winning lots in the Cup of Excellence.

The coffee is hand-picked and hand-sorted, then fully-washed and dried in the sun on traditional raised African beds.

The majority of the small farmers in the area have an average of only 300 coffee trees and use some of their land to cultivate other crops for subsistence. Most of their income from the sale of coffee is used to take their children to school, pay for medical care and for investment in livestock such as a cow for milk for use in the home and for sale locally.

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