Our current Decaf offering is from a three year relationship with Vunga Co-operative. The team at Vunga is led by women and has 260 active members who contribute. The operation is not of huge scale, but the quality is remarkable, and has been recognized a handful of times with a placement as high as 4th in Cup of Excellence Rwanda.
This season, Vunga processed a record of 185 tons of coffee cherry. In the 2018 harvest, Vunga made significant strides with their infrastructure, building out a coffee nursery and providing better assistance to the farmers who contribute their cherry. These improvements have helped in both the quality of the coffee and the volume produced.
In 2019, Vunga was impacted by a landslide, when a large boulder detached from a nearby hill and rolled nearly two kilometres, causing destruction of a lot of the infrastructure the co-operative had recently developed.
All the coffee in production at Vunga is undergoing a washed process. After being pulped in a Penagos depulper, the coffee is fermented for an average of 6 hours before being laid to dry for 35 days. When we were there, the parchment was clean, the beds were being raked, shifted and sorted, and the team behind Vunga was very excited to meet foreign buyers.
We believe this cooperative has the potential to achieve amazing cup quality and demonstrate the operations of a sustainable cooperative model in the coffee industry. Emerine, the station manager, is a very highly regarded and strong willed woman, who asked for feedback on her execution stages at the cooperative. This alone is a sign that great things are to come for the members of Vunga and the coffees they're producing.
Read more on our experience in our Journal from 2018 or 2019.
Producer: MTCo Partnership with Vunga Cooperative
Station Manager: Dafrose Uwimana
Micro-Mill: Vunga Co-op
Build Date: March 2009
First Year Rosso Purchased: 2017
Region: Nyabihu, North Western Region of Rwanda
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Processing Techniques Purchased: Washed
Elevation of farms: 1650 - 2000
Tasting Notes: Milk Chocolate, Black Tea, Sweet Raisin
Roasted For: Filter
This is the third year working directly with Vunga Coop and the first year we've had it decaffeinated.