The Gasharu Coffee Company has Baltimore roots with the owners son, Jean Christophe Rusatira, living in Baltimore and working at Johns Hopkins in Public Health. He approached us in early 2018 with his families coffee. We were impressed, not only with the story but also with the quality of the coffee. We visited the farms and washing stations during the summer and agreed to bring in our first Rwanda offering.
The Gasharu Coffee Co. has developed a coffee culture and tradition over the past thirty years. The goal of the Gasharu Coffee Co. is to bring the highest quality coffee from farms to cups directly while connecting coffee farmers to consumers. They promote high quality coffee and great living standards for coffee farmers in their community, particularly those working with Gasharu Coffee Company.
Celestin Rumenerangabo started working in coffee at the age of 17 in 1976. Celestin first planted 380 trees and has since expanded his farm and plantations to 8,500 trees. Due to the Tutsi Genocide in 1994, the coffee business could not be re-established until 1998.
Gasharu Coffee Company employs 6 full time locals and 120-150 part-time workers during peak season – 70% being women. They also provide upfront interest free loans to help with healthcare and education costs with the expectation of coffee to be delivered later.
Gasharu Coffee Co. operates two washing stations, Meuhororo & Gasharu.
After the coffee is picked and brought to the washing stations, cherries are floated and pulped with a disc pulper. Parchment then goes into a dry fermentation for 16 to 18 hours before mucilage is washed off. Beans are then soaked for 18 hours and graded by density. Coffee is then hand sorted and then dried on raised beds with a mesh bottom. The coffee is air and sun dried between 9am and 3pm depending on the suns intensity. The drying process takes 10 to 14 days depending on the weather. All of the waste water from processing is treated with Effective Microorganisms to secure the local water resources for the community.
The Gasharu Washing Station is managed by Celestin’s wife, Gorrette Mukamurenzyi. The washing station has six fermentation tanks and 100 raised drying beds. 386 farmers from twelve main coffee village farms bring their cherries to the Gasharu Washing Station.
Notes of: Brown Sugar, Chai, Balanced
PROVINCE: Western Province
ALTITUDE: 1,700 – 2,100 M