Rwanda is gifted with incredible climatic, fertile and geographical topographies consequently making this small nation of ours ideal for producing top quality specialty coffees. Rwanda receives an abundance of rain fall and equally sun, too. The rich volcanic nutrient packed soils, rolling hills and high altitudes all compound to give Rwanda coffees the unique floral notes and excellent acidity that we are all in love with.
Vunga was established in March 2009 and consists of 260 members. It is a woman led cooperative and is located in the Nyabihu District, North Western Region of Rwanda.
Vunga sits close to the borders of our neighbours in the north Uganda and west the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This tiny coffee washing station (CWS) is hidden in between the trademark steep hills of Nyabihu and thousands of plantain and banana trees. The station receives its water from the natural source from the nearby and famed Virunga National Park.
Vunga is a well-established small cooperative who partners with Muraho Trading Company. The partnership was formed to help Vunga increase their quality, fetch a higher price for their coffee and to introduce it to new markets. Vunga is a well-known washing station, though it is located in an area in Rwanda where very little coffee is produced, it has a reputation of producing extremely high-quality coffee. In 2012, Vunga placed 13th in the Rwanda Cup of Excellence and 4th in 2014. It is a washing station without a traditional serpentine. Cooperative members deliver coffee to the station, hand sort the cherry, and float the cherry. It is then pulped and placed into a large fermentation tank foregoing the traditional serpentine washing method.
Once fermentation has finished, the parchment is rinsed and laid out to dry for post ferment, pre-drying hand sorting removing any insect damaged, discoloured or chipped coffee. Parchment is then laid out to dry where it is turned on a regular basis throughout the day.
Raw Material paid a premium of $0.35 USD per kilo of milled green coffee to the Vunga cooperative in order to help fund infrastructure upgrades, this was a total of 2 million Francs (~$2,400 USD before tax). This year saw Vunga post their highest ever profit as a result of selling their coffee through Muraho and Raw Material, they have reinvested a total of 6 million Francs from these profits
toward the upgrades, Muraho are also financing a further 6 million Francs to Vunga in order to complete the upgrades. The roughly $18,000 USD in extra spending will go toward increasing their dry storage capacity, building new serpentines, doubling their number of drying tables and acquiring new fermentation tanks.