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Umurage CWS

This 100% Red Bourbon coffee was processed using the natural method at Buf Café’s Umurage washing station. Many of Buf’s natural lots are a blend of lots from their four washing stations. However, this special lot was produced entirely at Umurage, at 1,750 meters above sea level.

Buf Café was founded in 2003 by Epiphanie Mukashyaka, a dynamic businesswoman and a source of inspiration to countless other female entrepreneurs in Rwanda’s coffee sector and beyond. Buf is now managed by Epiphanie and her son, Samuel Muhirwa, who is taking an increasingly active role in running and expanding the business. The title ‘Buf’ derives from ‘Bufundu’, the former name of the region in which its washing stations are located.

  • Farm Umurage CWS
  • Varietal Red Bourbon
  • Process Natural
  • Altitude 1,600 to1,800 metres above sea level
  • Town / City Kigoma Sector
  • Region Huye District of Southern Province
  • Owner Epiphanie Mukashyaka
  • Tasting Notes Almond, cherry, toffee
  • Farm Size 0.39 hectares on average
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Umurage CWS

Epiphanie, who was born in 1959, was widowed during the 1994 genocide – which claimed over 800,000 lives in just 3 months – but chose not to leave her family’s small coffee farm. Instead, she set about rebuilding and developing her business and with it the local community. She started Buf Café in 2003, when she established Remera washing station with a loan from the Rwandan Development Bank and the assistance of the USAID-financed PEARL project.

This transformational programme was aimed at switching the focus in the Rwandan coffee sector from an historic emphasis on quantity to one of quality – and so opening up Rwanda to the far higher-earning specialty coffee market. The programme and its successor, SPREAD, have been invaluable in helping Rwanda’s small-scale coffee farmers to rebuild their production in the wake of the devastating 1994 genocide and the 1990s world coffee crash.

Umurage is Buf Cafés third washing station – along with the renowned Remera, Nyarusiza and Ubumwe. The company, which was serving less than 500 farmers in 2003, is now procuring coffee cherries from almost 7,000 smallholder farmers in the Southern province of Rwanda, among them 1,069 are registered members. Umurage alone purchases coffee cherries from 412 registered smallholder farmers, as well as three different local cooperatives.

About Rwanda

Lying almost in the centre of the Africa, Rwanda is a fertile, mountainous, and compact nation, roughly half the size of Scotland and smaller than most US states. Officially Africa’s most densely populated country, it has been inhabited since the Iron Age, and its seemingly endless terraced hills are scattered with dwellings. The 11 million strong population is still largely rural, and around 90 percent of Rwandans are engaged in agriculture of some kind, though much of this is subsistence farming.