Muzo Mubuga Hill
Muzo Mubuga Hill
Gakenke District, Rwanda
- Region // Northern Province, Gakenke District
- Elevation // 1550-1900masl
- Our partner since // 2020
- Process // Dry / Natural
- Country // Rwanda
- Washing Station // Muzo
- Coffee // Mubuga
Muzo Coffee Washing Station (CWS) is nestled between rolling hills in the heart of Rwanda. Dear to Emmanuel, this station is the smallest in the Baho colective and is the source of some of Baho's most beautiful coffees. Average temperatures here are higher and the rainfall is lower, with altitudes that top out at a soaring 2100masl. All of these factors play a part in the intensely sweet and tropical fruit-flavoured coffees that come through this station.
Gakenke district boasts multiple specialty grade washing stations, so producers here have a lot of options when it comes to deciding where they wish to drop their coffee off. Emmanuel pays coffee cherries up to 80% over the national farmgate price set by the National Agricultural Export Board (NAEB) in order to incentivize producers to choose his stations.
Since 2020, Semilla began working with Emmanuel on a post-harvest premium program which allows them to pay a higher price for cherries without putting Baho at risk of being fined or shuttered for operating outside of NAEB protocol. This past year, a second payment of 50 Francs per kilo was distributed to all producers in this group, providing a welcome source of income in the off season.
With 496 producers bringing in cherry to this station, at an average of 3kg of cherry per tree over approximately 200 trees per farmer, the result is an annual production of exportable grade coffee that numbers under 300 bags. We were thrilled with the quality of all the lots this year and consider them to be amongst the best - and rarest - that Baho has to offer.
Natural Processing at Muzo
Emmanuel has developed a unique method for drying naturals that allows for a slower drying speed while also ensuring the flavors are clean and free of over-fermentation or mold defects. When received, the cherries are hand sorted and floated to keep only the viable fruit. The good cherries selected in this process are stored in bags for 12 hours, allowing the mucilage to stick to the bean. Cherries are then turned out on to drying tables the following morning, with no more than 150kg being placed on each table and stacked no thicker than 2 to 4 cm depending on the weather. Coffee is spread thin and turned every 2 to 3 hours. When the moisture content reaches 20%, it is wrapped and covered with mesh netting for 2 days.
At a moisture content of 17%, the cover is removed, and coffee is moved to shaded beds for 5 days. It is then moved back out to full sun until a moisture content of 14% is reached. At this point, the coffee is moved again under complete shade until it slowly dries to a final moisture content of 12%. Total drying time for natural processed coffees is 50 to 55 days.
2020 Rwanda national farmgate price: 216 Rwanda Francs per kg cherry. 2020 Baho farmgate price at Ngoma station: 350 Rwanda Francs per kg cherry. 2020 FOT Kigali price to Baho for Ngoma Cyeshero Hill Intango: $4.63USD/lb.
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