Rwanda Cyato: Abadatezuka COOP – Gwiza Women Coffee
Each month I get the pleasure of choosing a new single origin coffee to purchase and roast for our Origin Select project. While we always carry a standard selection of single origins representing some of our favorite growing regions, this gives us the opportunity to highlight some exceptional beans on a seasonal basis that we might otherwise have missed out on!
Our Origin Select coffee this month comes from the Cyato sector, Nyamasheke district, Western Province of Rwanda. We are so excited to be featuring this coffee in March, just in time for Women’s History Month, as it was harvested and processed by a group of cooperative members that are women. This group is called Gwiza, which means "Abundance." Members of this group receive extra premiums from the sale of this coffee, as well as agricultural practice training, from seedling to harvest. This microlot coffee that we selected this month aims to fool you: the first sip almost suggests a dark roast, but its clean, zesty citrus finish definitely confirms that it is a medium roast with just enough tartness for our light roast drinkers to be satisfied…a real crowd pleaser! Our roasting team chose a medium roast to bring out the best in this wonderful microlot.
Abadatezuka Cooperative is a group of smallholder farmers in Rwanda's Western Province who deliver their coffee in cherry to the Cyato Washing Station, which is located in the Cyato sector of the Nayamasheke district in that region. The producers here grow coffee at elevations all the way up to 2,200 meters above sea level, and the washing station is located at 1,850 meters above sea level. The washing station was established in 2017.
One interesting facet to coffee here is that the native honeybees that live in and around the Nyungwe forest where the coffee is grown are said to be responsible in part to the "unique profile" this coffee has. The bee-assisted pollination, fertile ground (black humus and sandy soil), and cool lake-affected climate thanks to the area's proximity to Lake Kivu contribute to the flavors found in the cup. The farmers use no synthetic inputs, either as fertilizers or as pest control.