Producer: Aime & Alexis Gahizi
Washing station: Gitesi
Region: Karongi, Rwanda
Altitude: 1800 masl
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Importer: Nordic Approach
Cup profile: Silky, black tea, pear, blackberry, caramel
Alexis and Aime Gahizi are a father and son team who own and run the Gitesi washing station, established in 2005 in the Karongi region, Western Rwanda. Alexis is originally from Karongi, and his family have been growing coffee here for generations.
Gitesi has very strong relationships with farmers in the local community. There are over 1800 coffee farmers who deliver cherry to Gitesi. The washing station implemented a bonus system based on performance, which is paid out to the farmers at the end of the year. The washing station also has a development programme in place to support the farmers and members of their community. Some of the benefits of the program include access to new plants from Gitesi's coffee nursery at no extra cost, distribution of cows (for additional income and a source of organic fertiliser), and training in agricultural and financial management. They also have a pilot program where farmers can learn about growing different vegetables, ensuring that they have income outside of coffee season.
Aime is a member of the younger generation of producers and the driving force behind many new initiatives. For example, he has created a comprehensive water purification system for the washing station. This has been so successful that it will be the model for future water purification systems at other washing stations. They also produce natural fertiliser from coffee pulp.
Gitesi carries the Rainforest Alliance certification - seal awarded to farms, forests, and businesses that meet rigorous environmental and social standards.
This particular lot is a special selection of coffee that comes from Gitesi's own farm. This is the second year this separation has been done as a collaboration between Gitesi and Nordic Approach (our importing partner in Rwanda) and we are very excited to have been able to once again bring back this delicious lot from the inspiring duo – Alexi and Aime Gahizi.