Snapshot: Look for notes of golden raisin, caramel, milk chocolate, and melon in this sparkling washed red bourbon coffee.
Mushonyi is the name of the washing station just one kilometer away from Lake Kivo at 1,827 masl. More than 1,200 farmers bring their coffee cherries to Mushonyi to be processed. This washing station is owned and operated by Rwacof.
Mushonyi was originally built by the Rwandan army. This station has eight fermentation tanks, a standard washing channel, and a cherry sorting shed for additional sorting before cherry is pulped. The entire facility is maintained to the highest standard as they aim to ensure top coffee and machine quality.
What separates Mushonyi from other sites is their processing systems and equipment. When cherry is purchased for the station, the cherry first goes through a floatation check to remove any lower quality cherry, followed by a visual inspection. Once this is complete it is passed through a pulper called the Pinhalense eco-pulper, which has the ability to process up to two tons of cherry per hour. This machine integrates the floatation process and mechanical mucilage removal in its flow. From the hopper, cherry flows into a basin. Here, the machine skims off the floaters and feeds them into a different channel for pulping. The good quality cherry sinks and flows into a different channel to be processed as high-quality.
From this point, coffee then goes through a ten hour fermentation in concrete tanks. Afterwards, parchment passes through a washing and grading channel. As the beans flow through the channel, separated wooden bars laid horizontally across the canal prevent beans of specific densities from passing through. The first blockade stops the most-dense beans, the next is arranged to stop the second-most dense beans, and so on. In total, parchment is separated into five different grades.
Then, separated parchment is laid out on raised beds for drying. Again, workers sort through the coffee to remove any potential remaining defects. The coffee is continuously raked until it has dried and can be sent to a dry mill for further processing.
We have partnered with Sucafina in purchasing our Rwandan coffees for three years. Sucafina provides constant, high-quality coffees to OZO and has efforts on the ground in Rwanda. Rwacof, also known as Sucafina Rwanda, is a sister company of Sucafina. They own and operate 30 of the ~300 wet mills in the country, including Mushonyi. Rwacof invests heavily in yield improvements, farmer training, quality improvement projects, environmental sustainability, and other ways to increase farmer livelihoods. They focus on gender equality, analyze soil nutrients, and support income diversification. By purchasing coffee through Sucafina, we directly support their improvement efforts in Rwanda.