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Mahembe is a family-owned company, founded by Justin Musabyimana in 2010. Justin grew up in the local area and after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi minority ethnic group, he decided to come back home and invest in the community by building a wet mill on his father’s coffee plantation. He has a 10-hectare farm of his own and buys cherries from the surrounding smallholders. Justin’s organized operations, plus the work he is doing on the ground to improve quality, give great results in the cup. Mahembe operates 2 washing stations in the western region of Rwanda.
One of the coffees that Mahembe is particularly proud of is processed at the Nyagatare washing station, which is 100% Red Bourbon coffee grown in the Mahembe Sector, Nyamasheke District. This area constitutes a big range of high chained mountains with altitudes ranging between 1700 - 2100 metres above sea level. This area is in the high mountains of Rwanda.
Currently, the Nyagatare washing station works with over 675 coffee producers grouped under the Abatarushwa Cooperative supplying coffee direct to the washing station, approximately ~500 tons of coffee cherries per season.
This coffee is processed with the fully washed processing method, using natural spring water from high mountains located near Nyungwe forest. The farmers are trained to harvest only ripen coffee cherries from their trees. During the harvest, the Nyagatare washing station has very strict routines for cherry reception and sorting, cherry delivered by farmers must be sorted by the farmers themselves, if this is not done sufficiently there are mill staff who will do further sorting. The cherries are placed in a tank prior to pulping where floaters are removed and processed separately as lower-grade coffee.
At Mahembe, they take great care in every step of the process, from growing the coffee to processing and exporting it, to ensure that every cup of their coffee is of the highest quality. This lot of Red Bourbon, in particular, is a testament to their dedication and commitment to producing exceptional coffee.