Inzozi Nziza is excited to announce we are now serving Rwandan coffee roasted on site! Blue Marble has been looking for a way to improve Inzozi Nziza’s coffee production, and their current partner, who provides coffee to the shops in Brooklyn, wanted a chance to get involved with our project. For the past two weeks, Wiggles from Irving Farm has been here training the women on how to roast and brew fresh coffee.
In order to keep in line with Rwandan coffee traditions, Wiggles spent much of his time seeing different aspects of coffee in this providence named Huye. He first went and tried different coffees around Rwanda. He wanted to see how coffee was being served and what it tasted like. “By getting a general glimpse of the Rwandan coffee culture, the idea was that we could elevate it while respecting it,” Wiggles notes. Wiggles also visited local washing stations (where coffee goes from cherry to green beans). He was able to work with SPREAD (Sustaining Partnerships in Rural Enterprise and Argo-business Development) a US funded company that works with coffee farmers to improve the quality and quantity and coffee production. SPREAD is helping source the coffee for the shop. Wiggles also got do a coffee testing with OCIR cafe to ensure the quality of Inzozi Nziza’s new coffee methods. OCIR café is the government agency responsible for promoting Rwandan coffee. Overall, they were very supportive of our project and even mentioned a possible local commercial!
The goal of this coffee project is to close the circle of the Rwandan coffee production. “A lot of the women working in the shop are already connected to the local coffee production. They have family members or friends who pick the coffee cherries or work at the local washing stations, yet none of the quality coffee is prepared here,” Wiggles has observed. We therefore are aiming to improve the quality of the coffee served in Butare. “In Rwanda and most coffee producing countries, the best quality coffee is usually reserved for export. Even in big cities like Kigali, the coffee they serve is not of a high quality.” By buying fresh local coffee and roasting it on site, we hope to amend this problem.
During the rest of his time here, Wiggles has focused on training the women at the shop. They have learned everything from the history of coffee, to the science behind roasting, to how to brew a simple cup. Irving Farm generously donated a high quality roaster that we have been roasting around 10oz a batch on. To brew the coffee we are using a single cup pour over system. This allows us to keep the coffee fresh and only grind beans directly before brewing it. The women are really excited to be starting this new coffee project, and soon we hope to offer a range of drinks and products around it.