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Rwanda Ejo Heza


Winter and spring are a time for Southern Hemisphere coffees to shine, and this season, our first Africa from south of the equator is Ejo Heza from Rwanda.

As little as 5 years ago, quite a few coffee folks looked down on Southern Hemisphere African coffees in comparison to early summer arrivals from Ethiopia and Kenya.  Luckily for us, Rwanda and Burundi are producing some of the world's best, most interesting coffees. At Huckleberry, we look forward to fresh Rwandas and Burundis just as much as new Ethiopians, and are excited to kick this season off with Ejo Heza.

In the Kinyarwanda language, Ejo Heza means a brighter future, and this coffee comes to us from female members of the KOPAKAMA cooperative who are dedicated to that aim. KOPAKAMA is a 774 farmer cooperative, and in 2011, the female farmers organized themselves into a new group: Ejo Heza. Ejo Heza focuses on helping its members produce better coffee and attain higher pricing, and re-invests its premiums into women’s health and education initiatives, agronomy support, and microcredit loans for its members.

One of the reasons we love Rwandan coffee is that the Lake Kivu area is planted almost entirely in Bourbon, a coffee variety that lends a deep, sugary, syrupy sweetness.  Beyond variety, rich red clay soil, meticulous picking and sorting, careful processing all work together to layer that sweetness with sparkling acidity complexity. At KOPAKAMA, coffees undergo a special step - a post-wash soak before drying that is most common in Kenya - that adds to the coffee’s complexity. We’re tasting plum, cranberry, lime, and cola in our mugs.

We’re excited to showcase and support the women of Ejo Heza, and the coffee’s delicious - juicy, bright, and sweet.

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