Experience the entire coffee-making process from seed to the finished product. This tour starts in the nursery and ends with a cup of Rwandan coffee ground and is roasted in the traditional way.
The COOPROCAKI Coffee Cooperative has welcomed visitors for many years. The best way to learn more about how Rwanda coffee is being grown, processed, roasted, and drunk is to join one of the coffee tours offered by the cooperative.
The coffee tour at the COOPROCAKI Coffee Cooperative starts in one of the coffee plantations with spectacular views of Lake Kivu. Here you will first be introduced to the coffee plant, its life cycle, and how Rwanda coffee is grown. Depending on the time of year, you will be able to pick the coffee beans from the tree or at least see how the coffee beans are growing.
After visiting the coffee plantation, the tour continues at the nursery. Rwanda coffee plants are raised locally from local beans. At the nursery, you will see how the coffee trees are raised from beans to young seedlings and eventually brought out and planted at the plantations.
From the nursery, you will be taken through the coffee plantation to the washing station. Your guide will explain how the coffee is fermented, sorted, and washed. This process removes the outer skin of the coffee bean in a way that develops the right tastes and aromas of the beans inside. The coffee is then sorted into different grades depending on the hardness and weight of each individual bean.
Throughout your visit to the coffee cooperative, you will notice that a certain scent is present. The wastewater from the fermentation and washing of the coffee is toxic but is recycled as fertilizer on the coffee plantations.
After seeing the complex process through which the coffee bean passes, the guide will take you to the place where the coffee beans are being dried. Rwanda coffee is usually produced from a coffee type called Arabica Bourbon which is a small-yield but high-quality type of coffee that requires special care.
Throughout your tour, you will notice that the entire process is done by hand and that very little machinery or mechanical assistants are being used. This is also true when it comes to the end of the tour.
At the end of the tour, you will be treated to a cup of locally grown coffee from the cooperative. Before you are able to drink the coffee you have to prepare the beans by hand in a traditional way. First, you will manually roast the coffee over hot coals. The beans must then be pounded by hand, using a traditional wooden mortar. After the coffee beans are roasted and pounded, you can now heat water it over a fire and mix your own fresh cup of Rwandan coffee.