Rwanda Coffee Harvest Experience
Welcome to Rwanda
There is no place to learn about coffee production like Rwanda. The country is small in size, but produces coffee in nearly every sector of the country. During this course we will split our time between working on the farm and washing station and also in labs cupping coffees and learning from local experts about coffee production, processing, milling, and exporting.
Our special guide and instructor will be Marcus Young who knows Rwanda inside out. During the course we will visit a number of cooperatives and private farms, spend time at several washing stations, mills, and cupping laboratories in Rwanda.
This trip combines visits to smallholder cooperatives, private coffee estates, and time cupping and learning about Rwandan coffee in various coffee labs and mills in the country. We will spend time traversing the scenic countryside, visiting coffee farms and cooperatives, and working alongside farmers and agronomists. In the city we will be in some of the country’s best coffee labs and mills. At each step students will learn what makes Rwandan coffee so special historically, and connect with Rwandan coffee experts.
We will also visit Question Coffee Bar – a 3rd wave cafe in Kigali that connects directly with coffee producers in the countryside, sharing profits, exchanging information, and linking Kigali’s coffee consumers to the amazing stories (and coffees) of the Twongere Umusaruro and Nyampinga women’s coffee cooperatives.
From Harvest to Process to Roasting to Cupping
The course will take place during the harvest. With access to a number of lots being prepared and finished, the class emphasises harvesting, processing and cupping. Each day will include a tasting session and discussion featuring fresh-crop coffees; it’s a real master class for coffee buyers and anyone looking to truly understand the quality parameters of green coffee.
Students will spend time in KIgali, Huye in the south, and Kayonza in the East. Students are responsible for their own housing accommodations (which will range from urban hotels in Kigali to modest local motels and tent lodges in the countryside). Boot Coffee will recommend moderate priced lodging one month prior to the course. Local transportation is covered in the cost of the course.
Welcome to Rwanda, the Land of a Thousand Hills. We will be traveling around the country, spending time in the capital of Kigali and in the Southern and Eastern Provinces visiting producers, labs, and mills.
Getting to the Course Venue
International flights arrive from Europe at the international airport in Kigali each evening. From Kigali it is a short taxi ride to the city center and our hotel for the first night. We strongly recommend that you arrive in Kigali a day or two prior to the start of the course to recover from jet lag. After the course, it is recommended to spend some extra time in Rwanda visiting other coffee producers, trekking to visit Mountain Gorillas, or taking in other sites. We can help you make arrangements.
We will meet you in the breakfast room at the main course hotel (we will provide this information ASAP) at 8:30am on Monday morning.
The Rwanda course is an intensive course with a good amount of physical exercise. The days start with a breakfast at 8:30am and we usually finish the course days between 6pm and 6:30pm. We will provide recommendations regarding lodging (4 nights) and meals in the weeks prior to the course. Most hotels in Kigali cost between $75 and $200 per night. We will transport you on Friday afternoon to the Kigali Airport in time for the flights to Europe that depart each evening.
Our Kigali base of operations is a hotel located in a convenient part of the city (we are looking for bulk discounts to recommend our students). This is a modest hotel with clean rooms and good access to coffee facilities, restaurants, and taxis. Kigali has many hotels that can be booked online. The city’s top hotels are the Serena and the Marriott Hotel.
From Harvest to Process to Cupping
The course takes place while the harvest is in full swing. With access to dozens of different lots being prepared and finished, there will be an emphasis on harvesting, processing and cupping in this class.
May 15-20, 2017
Participants should arrive in Kigali on May 14th and depart on May 21st.