VARIETAL: Red Bourbon
Bumbogo Washing Station is a brand new station built by Neza Trading Company this year. Neza Trading is the partner company of Muraho Trading and run by Emmanual Rusatira (Emma). Emma is the Director of Quality at Muraho Trading and is responsible for the overall production quality of coffee from Neza and Muraho. Bumbogo is located in an area known for high-quality coffee production in Rwanda. It is a highly competitive region in Rwanda and has been home to some of the winning lots of the Cup of Excellence. Bumbogo employs 105 casual employees through the season; this staff is responsible for hand sorting cherry, processing, and turning the parchment when drying. Three full-time staff members manage the seasonal employees. Each casual employee is paid 1300 RwF per day; this is 25% more than the average casual worker salary. Social Security is also paid by Neza covering all their staff.
All cherry is hand-sorted before a pre-pulp float, under-ripe or damaged cherry is removed, along with any foreign objects. Cherry is then floated in pre-pulping tanks removing any floaters and later pulped. Next, the coffee is fermented in dedicated concrete fermentation tanks for an average of 12 hours. During this time the ferment parchment is agitated several times through the day by way of ceremonial foot stomping.
After fermentation, coffee is released into a large serpentine grading channel. This is a moving channel of water that allows any floaters or foreign objects to float off and be discarded. This process also separates parchment into different density grades. The highest density grade, A1, is trapped by submerged gates early on in the serpentine, where lower density coffee is allowed to pass through. Eventually, we end up with three grades A1 and A2, which sell as specialty coffee, and A3/A4 grades which usually sell in the commercial market.
During the washing process, parchment is continuously agitated to encourage lower density parchment to float and to clean any residual mucilage off the parchment. Once the parchment is separated into grades, it is given a final post wash rinse. At this point, coffee is taken to a pre-drying area where the parchment is hand-sorted removing any insect damaged, discoloured or chipped coffee. The parchment is laid out to dry and turned on a regular basis throughout the day.