Remera (Natural) Espresso$23 per 250g
Produced by Sam Muhirwa, an owner of Buf Coffee, this micro-lot is the result of four years of experimentation with small lots of naturally processed coffee. Sam is extremely passionate about quality and is committed to finding new and creative ways to produce exceptional coffee.
The Remera washing station receives carefully handpicked cherries from local smallholder farmers within the District of Nyamagabe, in the Gasaka sector. The cherries are sorted by hand, and moved into floatation tanks where a net is used to skim off floaters (less dense, lower grade cherries). The remaining cherries are carefully washed and moved to pre-drying beds for further hand sorting. Once sorted, the cherries are moved onto African beds to dry in the sun over four to five weeks. During this time, the coffee is continuously checked for defects, and turned regularly to ensure even drying.
This washing station is one of two owned and run by Buf Coffee, named for the former name of the region, Bufundu. Founded in 2000 by Epiphanie Mukashyaka, Buf Coffee is now managed by Epiphanie and her sons, Samuel and Aloys, who are taking an increasingly active role in running and expanding the business. She established Remera Washing Station in 2003 and Nyarusiza in 2005, and was the first woman in Rwanda to hold a privately owned company and produce specialty coffee. Her aim with the washing stations was to improve the quality of coffee by shifting the focus from producing commercial coffee to producing high quality specialty coffee. Buf has very strong links with the local communities that supply it, providing jobs for hundreds of locals during peak harvest (May – June/July) and ten permanent positions year-round.
The majority of the small farmers that supply Buf in the area have an average of only 300 coffee trees each, and also use their land to cultivate crops to feed themselves and their families. Most of their income from the sale of coffee is used to send their children to school, pay for medical care, and for investment in livestock such as a cow for milk, which is then used at home and for sale locally.