Rwanda is blessed with ideal coffee growing conditions that include high altitude, regular rainfall, volcanic soils with good organic structure and an abundance of Bourbon. The vast majority of Rwandan coffee is produced by smallholders of which there are thought to be around half a million with parcels of land often not much larger than just one hectare per family. Coffee is grown in most parts of the country, with particularly large concentrations along Lake Kivu and in the southern province. Rwandan smallholders organise themselves into cooperatives and share the services of centralised wet-mills – or washing stations as they are known locally. Flowering takes place between September and October and the harvest runs from March to July, with shipments starting in August through December.
Nyamulinda was built and established by Immaculate and Francine, friends who are both from the Nyamagabe area, in southern Rwanda. After realising the potential for coffee in their home village, they decided to grow it themselves, and planted over 20,000 coffee trees on their combined farm land. At the time of harvesting, they decided to process the coffee on their own, in order to maintain the quality achieved on their farms. Nyamulinda was born from this dedication to quality production, and the washing station was built in 2016 and began processing their coffee, and also that of their neighbouring farmers. With high quality at the core of their ethos, they want to expand Nyamulinda’s capacity, and grow their volume from the 220 tons of cherries processed this year.