Rwanda Rugali Anoxic Natural - Filter

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Rwanda Rugali Anoxic Natural - Filter


  • Producers + Mill:

In Rwanda, we work alongside Muraho Trading Co. This partnership helps affiliate co-operatives increase their quality of production, fetch a higher price for their coffee, and introduce them to new markets. This will be a continuous work in progress in the coming years, as we gain a greater understanding of the particular challenges Rwandan coffee producers face.

Through this process we can develop a model that creates incentives which generate producer buy-in, all the while maximising impact. We supply coffee from across Muraho’s washing stations, which are located in the Nyamasheke, Gakenke, and Nyabihu regions of Rwanda. Built in April 2016, Rugali coffee washing station sees an annual production of approximately 54,000kg of milled green coffee each year. The drying conditions at Rugali are ideal for ensuring optimal post-pulp drying, where coffee is laid on the drying beds between 12 pm and 3 pm, to ensure maximum exposure to the sun during the warmest time of the day.

Rugali has become an impactful example of a successful washing station for the specialty coffee market. It is a station that has in just a few years produced coffees that have been used in competitions worldwide and put the Nyamasheke District on the map for high-quality processed Rwandan coffees.

The station is located close to its smaller sister station Kilimbi. These two stations were the first stations in Rwanda to legally export natural and honey processed coffees. While production of natural and honey processed coffee is still monitored strictly by NAEB, the elevation of Rugali naturally lends itself to producing coffee in these styles.


  • Variety:  

This is a Red Bourbon variety, Red Bourbon came about from a mutation of Typica planted on Reunion Island in the 1700's before making its way around world, most notably Brazil where it has performed very well. Bourbon is valued for its complex acidity and wonderful balance. It often has a sweet, caramel quality and nice and crisp acidity but can present quite distinct flavours depending on where it is planted. Rwandan and Burundi types tend to have a punchier, fruity quality.


  • Process:

Once cherries are received, they are hand-picked and floated to ensure only those of the best quality continue to the processing stage. These cherries are placed into a deep cleaned fermentation tank. A sheet is then placed over the cherries, which is then submerged with cool water.

The seal created by the water pressing onto the sheeting creates a vacuum effect on the coffee below, creating an anoxic environment for fermentation to begin, which lasts for 48 hours. The water and sheet act as not only a sealant, but a heat exchange, allowing the heat build up to transfer to the water, which evaporates away. A stabilised temperature of around 25 degrees Celsius ensures that the cherry doesn’t over ferment. This temperature is regularly monitored, and if it falls too low for fermentation to continue, hot water is added to the water pillow, to provide warmth to the fermenting coffee underneath.

Once the fermentation is complete, the water is drained, and the sheet is removed. The now fermented coffee is rinsed and drained of all residual liquid.

To continue into the natural processing phase, coffee is dried in cherry on raised beds for between 4 to 5 weeks. The raised beds ensure optimum circulation of airflow, assisted by the cherry being turned every 30 minutes of the duration of its drying!


  • Region: Nyamasheke District
  • Producer: Small Holder farmers
  • Dry Mill: Rugali 
  • Importer: Raw Material 
  • Price (green ex Shipping): £16.65 p kg
  • Variety: red Bourbon 
  • Process: Anoxic Natural Process
  • Altitude: 1450-1600MASL 
  • Amount Bought: 120kg
  • Tasting: tropical, syrupy, complex, fruity, high sweetness
  • Flavours like: Raspberry jam, Papaya, dark chocolate & rooibos tea