Buf Remera

Juicy and sweet with notes of caramel, mandarin orange and tea , medium body and bright acidity with a long aftertaste.

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  • Country: Rwanda
  • Region: Gasaka Sector, Nyamagabe district of Southern Province
  • Farm: Buf Remera
  • Owner: Epiphanie Mukashyaka
  • Processing: Fully washed and sun-dried on raised beds
  • Altitude: 1,750 to 2,100 metres above sea level
  • Varietal: 100% Red Bourbon

This 100% red bourbon coffee was processed at Buf Café’s Remera washing station, at 1,935 metres above sea level in the south of Rwanda.

Buf Café was founded in 2003 by Epiphanie Mukashyaka, a dynamic businesswoman and a source of inspiration to countless other female entrepreneurs in Rwanda’s coffee sector and beyond. The title ‘Buf’ derives from ‘Bufundu’, the former name of the region in which its washing stations are located.

Buf Café now has three coffee washing stations – Remera, Nyarusiza and Umurage. They are currently building a fourth washing station as well, based on the local need. The company, which was serving less than 500 farmers in 2003, is now procuring coffee cherries from almost 7,000 smallholder farmers in the Southern province of Rwanda, among them 1,069 are registered members. At Buf’s Remera washing station in 2014 there was a total of 674,392kg of cherry delivered throughout the season, approximately 3% of which was delivered by trees owned by Epiphane and her family. The remaining quantity of delivered cherry comes from farmers within the community surrounding the washing station.

Cherries are hand-picked only when fully ripe and then pulped that same evening using a mechanical pulper that divides the beans into three grades by weight. After pulping, the coffee is fermented overnight (for around 12-18 hours) and then graded again using flotation channels that sort the coffee by weight (the heaviest – or A1 – usually being the best). The wet parchment is then soaked in water for around 24 hours to stabilise moisture content.

As at most washing stations in Rwanda, women do the majority of the hand sorting. This takes place in two stages – on the covered pre-drying tables and on the drying tables. Washed beans are moved from the wet fermentation tanks onto the pre-drying tables, where they are intensively sorted under shade for around six hours. The idea is that greens (unripes) are still visible when the beans are damp, while the roofs over the tables protect the beans from the direct sunlight. Next, the beans are moved onto the washing station’s extensive drying tables for around 14 days (depending on the weather), where they are sorted again for defects, turned regularly and protected from rain and the midday sun by covers, ensuring both even drying and the removal of any damaged or ‘funny looking’ beans.

This results in a sweet and a fruitful cup with mandarin orange and tea notes.