Young in Coffee farming and processing, Twumba Coffee that entered in this venture in 2015 was crowned Rwanda’s best coffee at Cup of Excellence awarding ceremony on Friday.
“We are very happy for this recognition since it came from hard work in all coffee value chain,” Gerard Mutagengwa, Twumba Coffee Director, told KT Press this morning, adding that it is encouraging since it was the first they have entered this competition.
“This award is an incentive that will keep us, both the washing station and our farmers motivated to keep improving the quality of coffee so that we keep up the momentum,” he said.
Out of 344 coffee lots that were into the competition, only twenty eight that exceeded 86,62 marks were announced winners of the Cup of Excellence Award as Rwanda was celebrating 10 years of recognizing coffee farmers.
Twumba coffee from Twumba Sector, Karongi District in the Western Province of Rwanda emerged the best with 90.53 marks followed by Muyogi Cooperative coffee (90.06) from Gicumbi and Murundo Coffee Washing Station (90.03) from Nyamasheke District, also in the Western Province.
While Twumba Coffee had took more than four tons, only 1,800 tons won the award of quality coffee. The coffee featured the washing station’s own coffee and individual farmers’ coffee.
“Once the coffee is auctioned, it the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) that determines the share that must be allocated to farmers,” Mutagengwa told KT Press.
According to NAEB the competition was tough since “winning coffees are chosen through a strict competition conducted by a selected group of national and international cuppers and are cupped at least five different times during the competition process.”
Every competitor had to presents three lots of coffee of two tons maximum from which local and international cuppers take sample for taste.
For winning the competition, the competitor must have an exceptional coffee with good taste, aroma, flavor and humidity and other details that attract cuppers.
“We harvested cherries at time and protected them disease with water from fountain,” Mutagengwa, Director of Twumba Coffee that emerged the best, told KT Press.
For having quality good coffee, coffee famers and washing stations protect them from external interferences including dust, diseased coffee and reaping coffee beans.
As it has become a tradition, Cup of Excellence awarded coffee are auctioned after the award ceremony giving them the chance to the market of the highest bidders.
For example, the coffee that won the previous Cup of Excellence Award was sold at $84/kg. This year’s top coffees may be even sold at a higher price since NAEB says they will be auctioned next in September this year.
The Cup of Excellence was launched in Rwanda in 2008, and since then the winning coffees have been attracting buyers from Asia, Europe and United States of America.
“The Cup of Excellence has also facilitated a linkage between Rwandan coffee farmers and buyers who appreciate top quality coffee and are willing to pay a premium price for it” NAEB’s Press release reads.
The Cup of excellence awards ceremony is a golden opportunity organized by the Government of Rwanda and Alliance for Coffee Excellence to recognize coffee farmers who produce a unique flavor of Rwandan coffee.