The second Rwanda to appear in our range this year comes from Gitwe, which grows perhaps the best rated of all the Rwandan lots we buy from our partner Falcon. In 2018 it was all bought by RTC, which employs 6 full-time staff there and will add 50 during the season. 90% are women. In fact, Gitwe is one of the smallest washing stations that RTC owns in the Western Province. The Gitwe station, which covers less than 1 hectare, is blessed to be located at the top of a mountain valley at an altitude of almost 2 000 metres. Just 3 km from Gatare and near Kamina town in the Karambi region, Gitwe is the name of the land on which the station is built.
It was constructed realistically recently in 2016 and was bought by RTC in 2018. Although it is a small station, the annual production of 500 tonnes of cherries at Gitwe involves 1020 farmers, all of whom have been trained under RTC’s training programme, and to a high standard. Farm sizes range from as few as 150 coffee trees to as many as 6,000 (2.5 hectares). Although most of the farms are 2-3 km from the station, many of the farmers are elderly and have limited mobility, and therefore the area is served by RTC through 15 cherry picking sites.
The station manager, Augustin, is originally from Kigali, but after a period of ill health he left the city in favour of the mountain air and rural environment. In 2018, he left the city to manage and live near the washing station and has not been sick since.
This year, Gitwe is experimenting with producing processed lots using the honey method for the first time. And we’re bringing you one of them right now. The coffee enchanted us with its sweetness and complexity. You’ll find notes of multivitamin juice, black tea and grapefruit.