Ngoma Warakoze Musaza Low Oxygen Natural - Rwanda
Name: Ngoma Warakoze Musaza
Region: Bushekeri Sector, Nyamasheke District, Western Province, Rwanda
Tasting Notes: tropical punch, hibiscus, cherry cola, & cinnamon
Producers: (Baho Coffee) Smallholders of Baho Coffee / Emmanuel Rusatira
Process: Low Oxygen Natural - 100 Hour Whole Cherry Fermentation
Variety: Red Bourbon
Altitude: 1600-1900 masl
Filter (Pourover & Batch Brew): 1:16
Espresso: 1:2-1:2.1 (17.5g -18g in, 35-37.8 out, 26-32 sec)
Emmanuel purchased the Ngoma Washing Station in late 2019. It’s located in the famed Nyamasheke district and set in one of the most stunningly beautiful locations, directly on the shores of Lake Kivu. Ngoma is known for consistently producing fruit-forward, complex coffees with floral tasting notes.
As is standard practice for Baho-owned stations - training, inputs , and substantial contributions towards health insurance premiums are provided for all farmers delivering. Furthermore, each station has an agronomist on site that organizes training sessions focused on topics such as coffee plant care (planting, fertilizing, pruning, harvesting, etc), environmental protection, and importance of our traceability efforts. Various inputs like fertilizers and new coffee seedlings are provided free of cost to all farmers. Baho is involved a step further here as well - helping farmers with transportation to gather materials and lending tools/equipment when necessary.
Meaning thank you old man in Kinyarwanda, Warakoze Musaza, is one of Baho’s three core lot separations. To further clarify, old man is technically the direct English translation, but Musaza carries a very strong sense of honor and respect. In this same spirit, the idea of the producer group is to honor an elder generation of coffee growers. These are all producers who’ve been growing coffee their entire lives, through which they’ve seen both the coffee sector and Rwanda as a whole drastically change. It’s a small nod and thank you for their continued commitment to coffee growing and a way in which to honor their lifelong work through a more contemporary lens of increased traceability and higher prices for their coffees.
In 2018 Emmanuel began experimenting with whole cherry fermentation techniques that could differentiate him within the specialty market – you can think of these techniques as a low and slow style of cooking, but applied to coffee processing.
Top-quality coffee cherries are packed tightly in plastic tanks where they ferment, in this case for 100 hours. Baho’s experimental fermentation methods would fall under the umbrella of what is often called “anaerobic natural processing,” but because all processing methods are anaerobic, we refer to this process as a low oxygen whole cherry fermentation. This method of fermentation plus longer than usual drying methods contribute to a higher intensity and complexity of fruit flavors and sweetness in the resulting coffees.
We taste tropical punch, hibiscus, cherry cola, & cinnamon in this zingy cup.
Coffee was brought to Rwanda in 1904 and was commercialized in the 1930s under Belgian colonial rule. From the 30s to the late 1990s, most of the coffee produced in the area was produced in a low-quality/high-volume model, and for a significant amount of time, Rwanda’s coffee sector has been controlled by one or two major buyers.
Over time and with the standardization of farmgate prices, coffee quality has improved and producers have begun to make more money. But Rwandese farmers often make little off of their labor overall, as most profits benefit major multinational companies.
Emmanuel is one of a very small group of Rwandese people who are exporting their own coffee; this means that profits are remaining within the country and are being reinvested back into people and communities. There is a deep level of commitment and respect between Emmanuel, his employees, and the farmers who deliver to Baho stations. Unlike many multinational companies, Emmanuel is directly invested in the future of his own country.
Baho provides substantial resources to the farmers they work with, including production and harvest skills training, insurance contributions, physical resources like fertilizers and seedlings, and practical resources like transportation.
Emmanuel explains that Baho’s vision of community is guided by having a synergetic relationship with the community of farmers that they work with. “Our overall vision is implied by the meaning of our name, Baho, which in our local language means live/life. It is like a tree that grows up and has branches, flowers, and fruits and still keeps its roots in the ground.”
*IF you would like this coffee ground, please specify brew method in comments.
Bags are 12oz/340g