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Rwanda: Kayumbu

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In the cup: Elegant, fruit forward and with layered complexity. An extremely refreshing cup profile with a soft mouthfeel and beautiful notes of chocolate, caramel and grapes.

Cupping score: 87 points

Mouthfeel: Round, thirst quenching.

Varieties: Bourbon & Jackson

Process: Washed

Producer: Kayumbu Washing Station

Altitude: 1600 - 2100 metres above sea level

Region: Kamonyi


Despite its turbulent history, today Rwanda is one of the specialty coffee world’s darlings. 

As in most African coffee-producing countries (with the exception of Ethiopia), Rwanda was planted in coffee by colonial interests from Europe in order to supply the booming market back on their home continent. High-yield, low-cost varieties were introduced in the 1930s and focus was on volume and not so much on quality

Today, this tiny country contributes less than 0.2 percent of the global coffee supply, but its reputation for special quality and unique characteristics—not to mention the incredible story of its development as a specialty-coffee origin since the genocide—have earned Rwanda a significant place at the table among African origins.


The Washing Station: Kayumbu

Because coffee farming in East Africa is usually on such a small scale one tends to talk about the Washing Station that processes the harvested coffee rather than any one particular farm or farmer. A local washing station serves many small farmers and has a crucial role in raising quality and providing vital community infrastructure.

The Kayumbu Washing Station was originally built by the Rwandan army to receive large volumes of cherry. Today, the station serves over 1,000 smallholders in the Kamonyi district who farm coffee at altitudes of 1,600-2,100 masl.