Umurage is the third of Bufcoffees washing stations, established in 2017 and based in the Kigoma sector of Huye District, an area renowned for its coffee quality. Ripe coffee cherries are collected daily from the surrounding farmer producers and the best selected for carefully controlled sun-drying on raised beds.
In Huye District, there is an abundance of fresh water coming from the Nyungwe National Forest, which is amongst the sources of the River Nile. The water in Huye District is an important reason why a fully washed coffee process was established in this area. Surrounded by Mountain Huye, Umurage washing station collects cherries from a number of farmers at altitude between 1,600m and 1800m.
“Bufcoffee was founded in 2003 by Epiphanie Mukashyaka and is now managed by Epiphanie and her son, Samuel Muhirwa, who is taking an increasingly active role in running and expanding the business. The title ‘Buf’ derives from ‘Bufundu’, the former name of the region in which its washing stations are located.
Epiphanie, who was born in 1959, was widowed during the 1994 genocide - which claimed over 800,000 lives in just 3 months - but chose not to leave her family’s small coffee farm. Instead, she set about rebuilding and developing her business and with it the local community. She started Bufcoffee in 2003 when she established Remera washing station with a loan from the Rwandan Development Bank and the assistance of the USAID-financed PEARL project.
This transformational programme was aimed at switching the focus in the Rwandan coffee sector from a historic emphasis on quantity to one of quality - and so opening up Rwanda to the far higher-earning specialty coffee market. The programme and its successor, SPREAD, have been invaluable in helping Rwanda’s small-scale farmers.”
Farm: Bufcoffee, Umurage Washing Station, Kigoma Sector, Huye District
Altitude: 1600 - 1800m
Variety: 100% Red Bourbon arabica
Flavour: Turkish delight & sour cherry