Rwanda FW 15+ Sholi Kundwa Women's Coffee

Red apple, cranberry, lemonade, black tea
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Bag Weight 60 KG BAG
Harvest Season 2023/24
Status Spot
Lot Number P8002225-2
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About This Coffee

This lot is sourced from smallholder farmers representing Kundwa Women Coffee, a women-only farmer group operating under Abateraninkunga Ba Sholi (Aba Sholi) Co-operative.

Aba Sholi Co-op is located in Cyeza sector, Muhanga district, central Rwanda. Sholi co-op was established in 2008 by 30 women living and growing coffee in the region as a conscious effort to invigorate the local economy. Back then, coffee was only a small part of the association, there was no profitable market for coffee cherries as there was no washing station in area. This changed when two years later, the mission of the association changed, and we eventually became a cooperative. Slowly the cooperative started growing, adding new members every year and in 2014, Aba Sholi opened its very own washing station.

“Abateraninkunga” is a Kinyarwanda word which translates to “mutual assistance”, encapsulating their values to encourage more farmers to join. Today there are 610 producers, many of them women, growing coffee at altitudes between 1,800 and 2,000 masl. The Coop became Fair Trade certified in 2015, the same year they won the Rwanda Cup of Excellence Award. The co-operative owns central washing station to which the members can deliver cherries for processing. 

Origin Rwanda
Subregion Cyeza sector, Muhanga District, Southern Province
Harvest Season 2023/24
Producer Type Washing Station
Wet Mill Sholi
Co-Op Abateraninkunga Ba Sholi (Kundwa Women's Farmer Group)
Processing Washed
Growing Altitude 1800m - 2000m
Plant Species Arabica
Variety Bourbon
Coffee Grade RWA CA FW SC 15+
Screen Size 15 Up
Bag Weight 60 KG BAG
Bag Types Grain Pro / Ecotact

The Region

The head office and the coffee plantations of Sholi coffee washing station are located at Cyeza Sector, Muhanga District. The region is known for its diverse fruit farming and ancient rocks called Sebwugugu.

The changes in the neighbourhood after the establishment of Sholi cooperative have been miraculous. The process started with a large growth in local population - a lot of people moved away from high-risk zones to a settlement area. Sholi brought a lot of jobs to the community and with them came increased food security, better living conditions and reliable income to pay for health insurance and school fees. As part of their vision to invest in the local community, Sholi the co-operative also built a health centre, a water source and a village hall, all of which can be accessed by the whole community, including non-members. 

Everyone at Sholi is treated equally regardless of age, gender, religion or disability. The co-operative offers health insurance and a loan system so members manage cash flow and pay for necessities like school fees. 

Rwanda is poetically known as “the land of a thousand hills” and Muhanga district is no exception. With rolling mountains, rich soils and plentiful sunshine, the region boasts an exceptional terroir for arabica cultivation. This mountainous terrain makes mechanisation of harvesting impossible and the transportaion of coffee very challenging. Nevertheless coffee plays a huge role in the growing Rwandan economy and the increased demand for washed specialty arabicas from this small but beautiful country have allowed it to become one of the region’s most highly regarded producers. 

The Process

This lot is fully washed, whereby ripe cherries are carefully selected, first by hand sorting then by floatation to remove under-developed cherries (floaters). The cherries are then depulped and fermented for 12-18 hours, typically overnight, to break down the remaining mucilage. After fermentation, the wet parchment is washed by high pressured water and grading is done throughout long channels to separate coffee by density. During this grading stage, coffee beans pass through a series of gates that allow less dense, lower quality beans to flow through, while retaining the denser, higher quality beans for separate processing in top lots such as this.

The retained washed beans are moved from channels to pre-drying tables, where they are carefully sorted under shade for around 4 hours. Next, the beans are taken on raised drying tables numbered for around 14 days in warm days or 21 days in rainy days. The coffee is also sorted again for defects, any damaged beans and it is turned regularly by women (seasonal workers) and the latter are tasked to protect coffee from rain or the midday sun by using covers. 

  • Subregion Cyeza sector, Muhanga District, Southern Province
  • Producer Type Washing Station
  • Wet Mill Sholi
  • Processing Washed
  • Bag Types Grain Pro / Ecotact
  • Plant Species Arabica
  • Variety Bourbon
  • Min Growing Altitude 1800m
  • Max Growing Altitude 2000m
  • Screen Size 15 Up
  • Co-Op Abateraninkunga Ba Sholi (Kundwa Women's Farmer Group)
  • On Sale No
  • Top Lot Yes
  • Price Per Kg £8.10
  • Status Spot
  • Coffee Grade RWA CA FW SC 15+
  • CTRM Contract Number P8002225-2
  • Origin Rwanda
  • Warehouse Vollers Group Uk