The Kilimbi washing station was one of only two in Rwanda to receive approval back in 2017 from the government coffee board to experiment with new processing styles such as naturals and honeys. Though we have featured these more exotic styles in previous years, this season we were pleasantly reminded that the farmers and workers at Kilimbi remain experts of all methods. This lot, processing in the traditional washing style, absolutely shone on our cupping table this winter.
Kilimbi isn’t the biggest of the Nyamasheke region’s washing stations, producing only around 500 bags a year of various styles. Despite its modest size, Kilimbi is a great example of the added value that a great station team can have, combining precise and consistent processing with a fair and transparent pricing model. The approximately 150 farmers delivering cherry to Kilimbi are paid well above the average rate of the rest of the country. For farmers, for whom coffee is typically only a small enterprise in Rwanda, increased profit encourages ongoing care for their coffee trees, resulting in great lots for eager buyers like us year on year.
The Maraho Trading Company, who built the Kilimbi station back in 2016, are excellent at market innovation and business development as well as producing high quality coffee. It can’t be underestimated just how important it is for farmers to have strong connections to buyers. Without these business networks, the farmer’s work risks going unrewarded. Due to their expertise and dedication, in the past five years Maraho have cultivated many dedicated roaster partnerships – including us! – for the farmers they work with. We are always impressed by the clean, elegant coffees we taste from Kilimbi and are proud to share this lot with our friends here in the UK and beyond.
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Notes of juicy red fruit and complex florals come together to complement a dark brown sugar sweetness – and all these flavours shine brightest on pour over. Try a brew ratio of 1 part coffee to 17 parts water to highlight its elegant acidity, using fresh filtered water right off boil. For more brewing tips and tricks, visit our Brew Guides.