Sweetness is the defining factor in this offering. Right off the first sip is fresh, ripe blood orange, with a beautiful medley of berry-like tones that present when the cup begins to cool. The body is silky, coating and incredibly smooth, reminding us of a high-quality oolong tea.
Both times we've arrived at Bumbogo, we've been greeted with a traditional song and dance. It's a surreal feeling, being welcomed into this place of business in such a warm and welcoming fashion. The women who led the dance were dressed in beautiful traditional garments that ranged in colour. As an interesting fact, the majority of the workers at Bumbogo are women, and this mill, as well as the others that MTCo operates are trying to empower the female workforce in Rwanda!
Emmanuel Rusatira one of the partners and founders of Bumbogo, was able to demonstrate how the mills purpose was to stimulate this local economy and was successful in doing so after this first season. This mill is situated for large volumes and just like other mills MTCo is operating, they're paying a premium per pound of cherry to the farmers they're working with. After a late start to this first season, 337 farmers supplied over 300 tonnes of cherry for processing. They believe they're capable of processing up to 450 tons of cherry using their 97 drying tables and no further investment in infrastructure. Those are great numbers and great goals for next season! That's a lot more coffee volume than Rosso needs!
This first season, the team at Bumbogo decided to only process their coffees in a washed style. They're using a Pinhal Maquina coffee depulper to remove the cherry and after a 12 hour average fermentation time, they're using serpentine channels to sort the coffee parchment by density - similar to other stations we visited with MTCo. There are three permanent staff, lead by Eustache, the station manager, and 105 casual workers during the peak season.
Bumbogo is the closest station to Kigali and one to look out for in the years to come. It has a very high ceiling for potential. Next year, we'll have the opportunity to try Natural and Honey coffees from Bumbogo.
Station Manager: Mutakirwa Eustache
Farmers: Small Producers
Micro-Mill: Bumbogo CWS
Build Date: January 2017
First Year Rosso Purchased: 2017
Region: Gakenke, Northern Region of Rwanda
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Processing Techniques Purchased: Washed
Elevation: 1650 - 2000
Tasting Notes: Blood Orange, Oolong Tea, Mixed Berry
Roasted For: Filter
This is our second year working with the Bumbogo Community Washing Station