Nestled just a stone’s throw away from the serene shores of Lake Kivo, at an elevation of 1,827 meters above sea level, lies Mushonyi, a renowned coffee washing station bustling with activity. Boasting a community of over 1,200 farmers who entrust their coffee cherries to its care, Mushonyi stands as a testament to Rwacof’s commitment to excellence in coffee processing.
Originally established by the Rwandan army, Mushonyi has evolved into a state-of-the-art facility equipped with eight fermentation tanks, a meticulously designed washing channel, and a cherry sorting shed dedicated to thorough quality control. Every aspect of the station is diligently maintained, reflecting a dedication to ensuring the highest standards of coffee quality and machinery performance.
What truly sets Mushonyi apart is its innovative processing systems and cutting-edge equipment. Upon arrival, each cherry undergoes a rigorous selection process, starting with a flotation check to eliminate any inferior cherries, followed by a detailed visual inspection. The cherry then proceeds to the Pinhalense eco-pulper, a marvel of engineering capable of processing up to two tons of cherry per hour. This advanced machine seamlessly integrates flotation and mechanical mucilage removal, ensuring that only the highest quality cherries continue along the processing line.
Following pulping, the coffee undergoes a meticulous ten-hour fermentation process in concrete tanks, imparting depth and complexity to its flavor profile. Subsequently, the parchment is carefully washed and graded through a specialized channel equipped with wooden bars arranged to selectively filter beans based on their density, resulting in five distinct grades of parchment.
The journey doesn’t end there. The separated parchment is carefully laid out on raised beds for drying, where workers meticulously inspect and remove any remaining defects. Continuous raking ensures uniform drying, preparing the coffee for its final journey to the dry mill for further processing.
For the past three years, we have proudly partnered with Sucafina in sourcing many of our Rwandan coffees, leveraging their expertise and on-the-ground presence in Rwanda. As a sister company of Sucafina, Rwacof operates 30 of the approximately 300 wet mills in the country, including Mushonyi. Through our collaboration with Sucafina, we directly contribute to Rwacof’s ongoing efforts to enhance yield, provide farmer training, improve quality standards, and promote environmental sustainability. Moreover, Rwacof’s focus on gender equality, soil analysis, and income diversification underscores their commitment to enhancing farmer livelihoods and fostering sustainable agricultural practices.
In supporting Rwandan coffee through Sucafina, we not only savor the rich flavors of this exceptional brew but also play a vital role in empowering communities and driving positive change in Rwanda’s coffee industry.