Inge is one of the owners of Back to Black coffee. Last June she made a trip to Africa, where she travelled to Rwanda. She has visited a washing station there, which gave her some new insights. Read more about this in her blog!
This trip was my first experience with Africa. I have stayed in Ethiopia a full week before I arrived in Rwanda. It is therefore only logical you tend to compare the countries. We already red some things about Rwanda, but when we arrived at the airport we noticed the big difference in wealth. Rwanda is much more prosperous than Ethiopia.
The number one source of income is tourism, because there’s a park full of gorillas where you have to pay an entrance price of 1000 dollars. Furthermore, Rwanda is a terribly beautiful country, so it’s definitely a wonderful holiday destination. Besides tourism, coffee is Rwanda’s 2nd largest source of income and I got the impression that the sector is growing fast.
I was hugely impressed by the washing station in Rushashi when I visited it for the first time. In many ways it looked much better compared to the washing station in Ethiopia. Still, there is something to say for both countries. In Rwanda they have more money to spend so they can buy better materials, but the washing station in Ethiopia has also invested heavily in improving the process.
It would be interesting to cup the coffee of the washing station and leave or modify certain operations within the process. That way it’s possible to determine exactly what actions contribute to the quality of the coffee. To be able to do this, you should stay in the country during the harvest period and you will need full cooperation of the washing station.
It’s a pretty interesting process, but unfortunately after two weeks my trip ended. I’m going home with lots of new information and insights into the process. Because of the trip I have seen many more different methods of the coffee process. There is still so much more to see and learn, so I will definitely visit more washing stations in the future. I’m already looking forward to it!