Rwandan Coffee: A Medium-Bodied, Smooth, and Citrusy Delight
Rwanda is a small country located in the African Great Lakes region. It is known for its high-quality coffee, which is grown at high altitudes in the mountains. Rwandan coffee is medium-bodied, smooth with bright citrus flavor notes and a subtle grapefruit finish.
The high altitude and volcanic soil of Rwanda create the perfect conditions for growing coffee. The coffee beans are hand-picked and processed using traditional methods. This results in a coffee that is full of flavor and aroma.
The History of Coffee in Rwanda is interesting. Known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, its production of high-quality, high-altitude coffee farming goes side-by-side with its fight against poverty. Rwanda is a small coffee producing country; Rwanda Coffee Production in 2016, harvested just 220,000 60 kilo-bags compared to 7.1 million in Ethiopia and 4.9 million in Uganda. However, coffee production in Rwanda is positioning itself as a world-class specialty single-origin coffee with delicious flavors.
How was Coffee Brought to Rwanda?
Coffee isn’t native to Rwanda. It seems to have been brought to the country by German missionaries in the early 1900s. Beginning around 1930 coffee farming in Rwanda increased though it was mostly low-grade, high volume green coffee beans as dictated by the government creating one of Rwanda's few significant cash crops. From then on, coffee farming in Rwanda grew to represent economic opportunities for many rural families.
Rwanda is Africa's Ninth Largest Arabica Coffee Producer
Today, Rwanda is Africa's ninth largest producer of Arabica coffee. The country has about 450,000 small coffee farms, which average less than one hectare in size. This means that most coffee farms in Rwanda are very small, and they are often family-owned.
The total area of coffee cultivation in Rwanda is about 28,000 hectares. This is a relatively small amount of land, but it produces a significant amount of coffee. In 2020, Rwanda produced about 370,000 bags of coffee, which is worth about $100 million.
Coffee is a major source of income for many people in Rwanda. The coffee industry employs about 2 million people in the country, and it contributes about 10% of the country's GDP.
Coffee is also an important part of Rwandan culture. Coffee is often served at social gatherings, and it is seen as a symbol of hospitality. The coffee industry has helped to promote peace and economic development in Rwanda, and it is an important part of the country's future.
Coffee Culture in Africa
Coffee is more of a culture in African countries than we’re used to in the west, with rituals and socializing being a key component of any get-together. The industry attaches values to its crops – Hope (“Ikizere”), Vision (“Ikerokoza”), Ishema (“Proud”) – that guide how people work together.
In many African countries, coffee is more than just a drink. It is a way of life. Coffee is often served at social gatherings, and it is seen as a symbol of hospitality. The coffee industry has helped to promote peace and economic development in many African countries, and it is an important part of the continent's future.
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