Owner: David Rubanzangabo Location: Huye District - Southern Rwanda
Altitude: 1,600 -2,300 masl. Cultivar: Red Bourbon
Flavour profile: Peach & vanilla
Located on the slopes of Huye Mountain in the Huye District in Southern Rwanda, this private washing station is owned by David Rubanzangabo.
David grew up the area and established the washing station in 2011. He has since built another site nearby to the original washing station to allow for a greater number of deliveries during harvest season.
David is a philanthropist who cares deeply about the smallholder farmers who deliver their coffee to his station, and constantly strives to make improvements to ensure that the 1330 farmers who deliver cherry to Huye receive fair prices and premiums based on the quality of the coffee they produce.
Alongside payments, David also rewards the farmer groups he works with with social premiums and quality incentives - such as cows, goats, access to micro-loans, school fees and health insurance. In addition, David has driven environmental changes at Huye, initiating a water reduction program, which involves recycling water used for pulping, with the aim of reducing use at the station by a third.
During harvest season, producers deliver their freshly picked coffee cherries to 26 collecting stations around the Huye community, where a truck visits daily to collect coffee during harvest season. Typically, a small holding in the district is just a quarter of a hectare in size, with around 200 trees. The yield is about 4kg of cherry per tree, so each farm only produces roughly 2 bags of coffee. It is entirely Bourbon, which, coupled with an altitude ranging from 1,600 to 2,300 metres above sea level, brings about lots of complexity and great flavours in the cup.
David's drive for quality has brought about a big increase in prices for local farmers. Confirmation of the high levels of quality that they are producing is Huye's success in the Cup of Excellence: 2nd place in 2012, and 6th and 11th in 2013 with two competing lots.
Cherries delivered to the Huye Station and then floated and separated to remove any defective cherries. The coffee is then placed on the raised African beds at about 2cm of thickness where it is dried for up to 30 days with regular turning each hour and covering during at night time.