Umurage | Rwanda
Meet UMURAGE, a washed process 100% red bourbon, grown at 1750masl from 460 smallholder farmers in situated near Umurage Washing Station in Huye District, Rwanda.
Expect to taste: blood plum, grapefruit, snickers, apple juice, candied orange, lavender & raspberry
TL;DR: Servicing about 460 local small farmers, Umurage takes great pride in producing high quality coffees and sharing profits with contributing producers.
This 100% Red Bourbon lot was grown by independent, smallholder producers who farm coffee in the high hills surrounding Umurage washing station, in the Kigoma Sector of Huye District, in Rwanda’s rugged Southern Province. Umurage sits at 1750m above sea level, overlooking a landscape of vibrant green hills and rich red earth. This station services about 460 local producers in total, who deliver fresh cherry daily during the harvest period.
Umurage is one of four washing stations owned and managed by the influential company, Buf Coffee.
Typically, farms in the surrounding area are very small – averaging around a quarter of a hectare (or 300-600 trees) – and are situated between 1,800 to 2,000 meters above sea level. The high elevation of the surrounding area allows coffee cherry to ripen slowly, resulting in a complex and sweet flavour profile. Coffee is grown as a cash crop, alongside subsistence food crops like maize, beans and sorghum and some livestock like goats and chickens. Cows are also an important asset to a farming family. Besides having practical advantages – like providing milk and yoghurt to feed the family, producing excellent manure for the coffee farms, and being an opportunity for additional income – they are also a traditional symbol of wealth and status in Rwanda.
Coffees at Umurage are processed with meticulous care and attention, resulting in exceptional clarity and cleanliness in the cup. All of the water used at the washing station is incredibly clean, due to the site’s close proximity to the Nyungwe Rainforest and Nile River. Used water from the Umurage is filtered using a water sanitation system to remove all contaminants before being reintroduced to the local ecosystem.
Quality control and day-to-day operations at Umurage are overseen by long time Buf employee and station manager, Angelique Muhawenimana, who started her career in coffee as a sorter at Umurage’s sister washing stations, Remera and Nyarusiza. She is assisted by Head of QC, Speciose Mukandahiro. Together, they ensure that the coffee is harvested and processed with care and production standards are kept at the highest possible level. At the end of each season, any surplus profits are shared with the producers and washing station managers.
We wanted to keep things clean and fresh with this one. Really walking the line of lightness to let the clean and delicate florals shine through. Spend some time sipping this one, it’s got a lot to give.
We prefer our filter brews from a v60, but we won’t judge for use of anything at all to make yourself a coffee - even a (clean) sock.
Our recommended ratio when brewing filter coffee is 60g of coffee per litre of water. Simply scale this down, or up, for your desired size of brew.
With all methods, you’ll want: a grind size similar to granulated sugar, boiling water, and about 3 minutes of brewing time. This goes for v60, aeropress, plunger, and the (still hopefully clean) sock.
Our favourite recipe for v60:
- 20g of medium to coarsely ground coffee, it’ll feel a little like granulated sugar.
- Set your kettle to boil, and ready your socks to be rocked.
- We use a 60g bloom, with a swirl of the slurry to make sure it’s all wet. You can stir of that’s easier, just don’t rip the paper!
- After that, when your timer is at 45 seconds, add more water to a total of 200g, and swirl gently.
- Then finally at 1:15 on your timer, add the rest of your water, to 330g, and do one last little swirl.
- Wait till it drains through, roughly 3:30 is a good time, pour into your favourite mug, and let those socks be rocked.
If you’d like more info or tips, get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org