The Gakenke district in the northern mountains of Rwanda is full of beauty and hardship: verdant hills and ridges juxtaposed with poverty and natural disasters. But the real beauty is in the people, resilient, resourceful, and working to lift their lives and communities to a better, safer, and more sustainable level. Growing coffee is one of the ways they’re finding to do this, and the coffee coming from this region is excellent.
The microclimates here allow for high-grown coffee resulting in slow ripening, important because it allows for intensifying of flavors. And in Gakenke, coffee cooperatives offer their members access to clean, efficient processing mills so that what they have so carefully grown and picked can retain quality and flavor in the bean. Traceability through these co-ops is very transparent--individual farmers’ lots can be identified, and processing is pristine, as Gakenke’s recent Cup of Excellence Presidential award testifies.