Rwanda Humure Abishyizehamwe Anaerobic | Onyx Coffee Lab
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YOU'RE WELCOME:

FREE shipping for orders over $40

TRENDING COFFEE:

Unnecessarily Soulful Peru Liliana Heredia Altamirano Gesha El Salvador Santa Rosa Cold Brew The Duet

ONYX IS MY PAL

FREE shipping for orders over $40

TEA:

New Teas offerings have launched now in eco sachets. We've taken weighing to the tenth of a gram out of your hands so that each cup is perfect. We suggest trying Onyx Tealight which has organic oats and honey along with black tea and cinnamon to create a complex sweetness and silky mouthfeel tea experience.

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Rwanda Humure Abishyizehamwe Anaerobic

Located in the Eastern province of Rwanda, Humure is the highest hill in the area, as well as the largest station within the Baho network. This community lot is processed as an anaerobic natural, featuring the hard work and commitment to processing this station excels at.


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Level: Expressive Light  |  Agtron # 79.6


Variety:
Red Bourbon
Process:
Elevation:
1800 Meters
Cup:
Cranberry, Green Apple, Cane Sugar, Prune
top of box
bag
bottom of box
Variety:
Red Bourbon
Process:
Anerobic, Natural, Raised-Bed Dried
Elevation:
1800 Meters
Cup:
Cranberry, Green Apple, Cane Sugar, Prune

Story

We love Sun Dog. We love them because they not only source amazing coffees with great partners in Rwanda, but they also write and record SO much data on each coffee. Read below at what might be the longest write-up in Onyx history.

HUMURE
Humure, named after the highest hill in the area, is located in the Eastern Province of Rwanda. It’s currently the largest station in the Baho family - collecting cherry from 1500 smallholder farmers, producing 1300 60kg bags of green coffee annually, and employing 220 people during the peak of the season.

The station was newly constructed in 2017 by a different owner, but Emmanuel stepped in to purchase Humure during the 2018 season. He immediately made large investments in infrastructure - new fermentation tanks, new washing channels, and larger storage units - thus, increasing the production capacity by 20x in the first three years of operation. Though the region is currently dominated by banana and maize production, Baho has established an impressive seedling distribution program that’s mobilizing farmers to start planting more coffee.

Emmanuel preaches the potential of both high quality and high volumes at Humure, thanks to the combination of relatively flatter lands coupled with an established infrastructure of shade trees from it being located in a prominent banana growing region. Because of this, Baho is investing a lot of energy into farmer education in the surrounding areas. According to Emmanuel, this includes: “... training in coffee mulching, harvesting, weeding, pesticide application and fertilizer application. Farmers are trained on intercropping and shade trees in the field, farmers are helped to get seedlings of fruit trees. Farmers are given training in soil management and biodiversity.”

ABISHYIZEHAMWE
Emmanuel presented to us a handful of lots in 2019 that were traced back to communities surrounding specific hills. This initiative immediately sparked our interest and kickstarted our discussions on how we could expand and deepen this type of traceability. As buyers, it’s always exciting to find more information about where coffee is coming from; but additionally, Emmanuel made it very clear that it was helpful to Baho and their producer network as well. It created the opportunity to more directly support producers and hopefully motivate them to continue in specialty.

Translated from Kinyarwanda, Abishyizehamwe means people that came together. A very fitting name for this exemplary collection of growers! They established the group as leaders in their growing region, after noticing many surrounding producers were not as passionate about coffee. In addition to owning their personal small farms, the Abishyizehamwe group also cooperatively tends to a plot of land that they own together. They’re well versed in the importance of intercropping with shade trees; and thus, it’s common to see other fruits like papaya, banana, and tree tomato, scattered throughout their parcels of land. We’re excited to have established a connection to such a forward thinking and driven collective. This is the first step in building a transparent and equitable relationship with groups of farmers that we hope will deliver to Humure for many years to come.

In Emmanuel’s words:
They have a great and improved understanding about coffee and they are committed to grow. They decided to group together after they saw that many people are not taking care of their coffee farmers and they were not happy. To motivate others, they decided to be together, implement good practices and serve as model farmers where other farmers could use their farms as demonstration plots. Baho Humure has interest in working with this group as their members are leaders and can positively influence the rest. It is easy for us to communicate with them about our quality requirements and other recommendations, and it is easily implemented and faster than dealing with individual farmers.

PROCESSING
With honey and natural processing slowly becoming more common in Rwanda, Emmanuel began experimenting with whole cherry fermentation techniques that could differentiate him within the specialty market. 2019 marked the first year that these coffees were ever exported, and we’ve purchased a small volume each season of our partnership. As we look towards the future, we hope to collaborate more with Emmanuel on his experimental processes and push towards the most precise and replicable methods possible.

The initial steps for each process are the same: First, a day of intensive sorting at the cherry stage, under complete shade, to ensure only the ripest are chosen and any visible defects are removed. Step two is multiple rounds of floating - filling a large container with cherries and water, discarding the less dense cherries that float to the top of the tank. The densest coffees (sinkers) are reserved to be processed as the higher grade lots, and the less dense coffees (floaters) are mixed in with the rejected cherries from the initial sorting to be processed as lower grade lots.

The top quality cherries are tightly packed into sealed plastic tanks where they are left to ferment, undisturbed and under shade for a set period of time. This specific lot was fermented like this for a period of 72 hours. In today’s specialty coffee vocabulary, this would likely be considered a form of anaerobic natural processing. However, because all fermentation is considered to be anaerobic by definition, we like to refer to this process more specifically as a low oxygen fermentation.

The goal here is to create a unique environment in which the cherries have very limited interaction with oxygen, but the environment is not 100% free of oxygen during the entire process. As fermentation takes place, carbon dioxide is released and progressively pushes oxygen out of the plastic tanks. The particular environment created changes both the rate of fermentation and the specific yeast and bacteria present. In our personal sensory experience, we’ve found that the low oxygen whole cherry fermentations always promote high intensity and complexity of fruit flavors and sweetness in the coffee.

Once the fermentation period is complete, cherries are turned out onto raised drying beds for drying. Cherries are spread out in a single layer on the beds and turned frequently throughout the drying stage. Specifically for Baho’s low oxygen coffees, they utilize unique techniques to drastically stretch out the total drying times. At 20% moisture content, the cherries are covered with mesh netting for a period of 5 days before being opened again to full sun. At 15% moisture content the cherries are moved under complete shade for a period of 5 days before being opened again to the full sun. Both steps are thought to alter the rates of drying in a way that promotes more fruit flavor and complexity in the final product. When the moisture content reaches the target 10 - 11 %, the drying phase is then considered complete. Total drying time for this lot is 38 days.

Emmanuel often compares his drying methods to that of a low and slow style of cooking. Generally speaking, particularly with grilling meat or simmering a stew, cooking gently with a low heat for a long period of time will produce an end product with more cohesive, sweet, saturated flavors. He explains: When you take meat and you put it on charcoal, after 20 min you have your meat ready. But in an oven, it would take 45 minutes. If you put it in hot ash, it may take two hours. When you taste these three meats, there's a difference in the taste. I have this kind of thinking that coffees that dry slowly, the taste and lifespan of this coffee may be longer and more delicious than the coffee that dries for 10-12 days in sun.

NAMES of FARMERS CONTRIBUTING [To this lot.]
Fidel MANIGABA
Claver NTAMBARA
Celestin UWIZEYIMANA
SYLIVER NSEKUYE
Dorothe AKIMANA
Didacienne NYIRAMAKUBA
Eperance MUKAMPARANYI

ADDITIONAL PAYMENTS
The Rwanda National Agricultural Export Board (NAEB) sets a nationally mandated farmgate price for cherry each year, with the goal of reducing predatory buying practices. This has undoubtedly increased wages for the majority of farmers across the country, but it hinders some station owners by also creating a price ceiling in an attempt to establish market parity. Emmanuel specifically experienced crossing this line in 2018, when he received a letter from the government demanding that he lower prices or else be fined. We’ve learned over the past few years that getting more money into the hands of farmers isn’t quite as simple as raising cherry prices at the station.

Baho has adopted a second payment system as a workaround to this issue. Giving farmers additional compensation later in the year means that you can go off the official books. We’re hoping to provide more consistency to this system by setting aside specific amounts of money each season to pay Baho’s producer partners more and more. The increased level of traceability that Baho has been able to achieve is making this process much easier, as we can now begin with dedicated small groups to implement the program. We’ve started small as we explore the best methods of dispersing payments like this fairly, but we hope to scale everything up as we grow together in the future and continue to explore Rwandese farmers’ costs of living.

We witnessed a unique scenario during the past few seasons where increased market demand has led to a countrywide spike in prices and extreme competition amongst stations to collect cherries. To fulfill their contracts, commodity focused stations have been paying at levels above the national average for any quality level. This means Baho has had to continuously (a) increase prices as high as possible and (b) start accepting more of a variety of cherry ripeness levels. It’s become commonplace that a much higher percentage of cherry than usual - up to 30% in some cases - must be sorted out to achieve their ripeness standards. He’s seen this put a massive strain on the workforce at washing stations; and because of these factors, all Baho has started incorporating bonuses at the end of the season for their station management staff.

These issues are continuously evolving and are accompanied by equally shapeshifting solutions. The answers are never one size fits all; and thus, we will always work closely with Emmanuel to strengthen our partnership and support in the specific areas where we’re most needed at any given time. In addition to helping guarantee that second payments are a standardized occurrence for all groups we purchase from, we’re exploring specific projects to allocate money towards in future seasons. Stay tuned! And please reach out if getting directly involved on this level is ever of interest to you!

THE POTATO DEFECT
This particular defect is known to be a natural occurrence in many central African coffees, particularly those from Rwanda. First off - surprise, it actually has nothing to do with the root vegetable! The name was acquired because coffee with this defect smells and tastes almost identically to raw potatoes. The cause of potato defect has long been a mystery for both scientists and the coffee industry as a whole; however, people are slowly coming to a consensus - though, it's admittedly still a bit confusing. The most cited theory attributes the potato flavor to a specific chemical in the pyrazine family. This chemical is produced by the plant as a byproduct of a unique airborne bacteria entering the seed; and most commonly, the seed is exposed because of a specific bug - Antestiopsis orbitalis (aka. Antestia) - that punctures the skin of the fruit.

Once upon a time, it was so widespread that specialty coffee buyers would never have considered purchasing coffees from this area. Over the past decade, however, huge strides have been made by research institutes and coffee producers alike to reduce the occurrence. Though we may never be able to confirm that each lot is completely free of the defect, meticulous sorting and processing has certainly minimized the frequency so that it is very rare. Baho Coffee, in particular, implements multiple rounds of hand sorting at the cherry stage, during the drying period, and immediately prior to export (coupled with additional use of an optical color sorting machine). The working theory is that if you can remove nearly 100% of all visible defects, then you will have removed nearly 100% of all instances of the potato defect as well.

Filter Brew Guide

Equipment: Origami & Kalita Wave Flat

Coffee: 16g

Water: 250g @ 200°F

GRIND
570µm Grind Calculator →

BREW

0:00 - Bloom - 40g
0:20 - Center Pour - 100g
0:40 - Center Pour - 200g
1:20 - Spiral Pour - 250g
Drain By 2:40

Espresso Guide
Filter Brew Guide En Español
Espresso Guide En Español

Green Cost

The subject of paying for green coffee is inherently complicated. While the amount paid is very important, the payment terms and type of contract negotiated during the purchase are also paramount. Paying $5/lb of coffee can be a great price, but could be detrimental to a producer if the payment terms exceed that of their needs. Here we will dive into not only what was paid for the coffee, but how the coffee was purchased. There is a glossary of terms to be found below which will aid in your understanding of industry terms.

Farm Gate - This reflects what is paid to the producer of the coffee at the farm level. Oftentimes in terms of our relationship coffees, FOB is fairly close to the farm gate price, except for countries like Ethiopia and Kenya, when it is very difficult to trace back all the way to the producer.

FOB - Free on Board. This means that the seller is responsible for any overland fees that happen before the coffee is on board the ship. This is our most frequently listed green cost, as it is the most simple way to present what we pay a seller, but it does not reflect what the person growing the coffee was paid.

EXW- This most often reflects the 'spot' price that we paid for a coffee. All of the cost is paid by the importer, and more often than not the FOB price as well as the transport costs are unknown.

$7.08

Transportation

The price listed below is the average cost we incur while moving palletized coffee via LTL freight.

$0.24

Production Cost

$5.45

Fair Trade Min.

$1.80

C Market

$1.57

Cup Score

86.5

Lot Size

Transparency Grade

B

Transparency

We as a company believe that transparency is unbelievably important. The point of listing things below is not to justify what we charge or what we profit, but to give a realistic snapshot of the industry and how Specialty Coffee can be different than other commodity industries.

$12.77
$7.08
$0.24
$5.45
$1.80
$1.57
86.5
B

Transparency

We as a company believe that transparency is unbelievably important. The point of listing things below is not to justify what we charge or what we profit, but to give a realistic snapshot of the industry and how Specialty Coffee can be different than other commodity industries.

$7.08
$0.24
$5.45
$12.77
$1.80
$1.57
86.5
660lbs
B
✓ Added to Cart