Rwanda Mugombwa Sun Dried Bourbon (PEARL project supported) 2007-2008


Bean name Rwanda Mugombwa Sun Dried Bourbon (PEARL project supported) 2007-2008
Country Rwanda
Region Mugombwa
Other info Bourbon, Pearl Project


PEARL's Coffee Program: Restoring the Potential of the Rwandan Coffee Industry

In the early 1990s, coffee was Rwanda's most lucrative export. The country exported 45,000 tons of coffee in 1990, helping to support millions of Rwanda's small-scale farmers. Events in the 1990s, however, decimated Rwanda's coffee industry. Most importantly, the 1994 genocide claimed the lives of nearly a million Rwandans, destroying Rwanda's economy and erasing much of the specialized knowledge needed to export coffee profitably. Simultaneously, world coffee prices plummeted in the 1990s due to increased worldwide production and consolidation of purchasing by multinational corporations. The price of low-grade coffee has decreased by over 50% since 1990, bringing hardship to millions of coffee farmers in Rwanda and throughout the world. For Rwandans, however, the added burden of a genocide has made production of coffee especially difficult. The world price of low-grade coffee is now below the cost of production for millions of Rwandan farmers, and as a result, millions of coffee trees in Rwanda are not harvested. Rwanda currently produces less than half the amount of coffee it produced in 1990.

Despite this disastrous chain of events, Rwanda's coffee sector has retained tremendous potential. Rwanda's climate, altitude, and high-quality bourbon-variety coffee trees give it the ability to produce high-quality coffee for the specialty coffee market. As a niche market, specialty coffee has seen sharply rising prices over the last 10 years (today, low-grade coffee sells for 28 US cents per kilo on average; specialty coffee earns 80 cents per kilo). PEARL's coffee program is designed to rebuild Rwanda's agricultural institutions, production capability, and human capital so that the country's small farmers can sell their coffee directly to buyers in the specialty market and receive high prices for their product.

PEARL pursues this goal primarily by creating and supporting coffee cooperatives in Rwanda. Cooperatives allow Rwanda's small growers combine their harvests into container-sized shipments, instead of tiny parcels produced by individual farms. This in turn enables them to sell coffee directly to foreign markets instead of to domestic markets or exporters. More importantly, if a cooperative can consistently produce container-sized quantities of high-quality coffee, its members can sell their beans in the specialty coffee market and receive appropriately high prices for their product.

Another gem to come from the pearl project (get it gem, pearl ooh never mind). This bourbon is incredibly floral very sweet and wonderfully balanced. With hints of jasmine and sweet cherry, great coffee.

Cupping notes

Clean cup 7/8
Sweetness 8/8
Acidity 7/8
Mouthfeel 6/8
Flavour 7/8
Aftertaste 6/8
Balance 7/8
Overall 7/8
Correction +36
Total 91

« Back to Coffee Archive