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Farm: Bernard Uwitije
Region: Gitega Hills, Southern Province
Elevation: 1600-1900 m
SCA score: 86
Importer: Falcon Coffees
The Gitega Hill’s washing station is located in the Nyamagabe District of the southern province and is located very close to Nyungwe Forest and the traced source of the Nile River. Bernard Uwitije, a native of the area, had been trading non‐washed Ordinary coffee up until 2015, when he realised the potential for fully washed specialty grade coffee. Despite being his first time in processing fully washed coffee, he could count on his overall experience and knowledge when establishing the wet mill. He equipped the station with a 1500kg Penagos machine, fermentation tanks, and raised drying beds. These investments, along with strong oversight, has yielded very high quality parchment in his first full year in operation.
The average farm supplying to Gitega is at an elevation around 1650m, and that along with the volcanic soil of the area make Gitega an excellent location for high quality processing. One strategic area of collection is called Miko, which is made up of approximately 165 coffee farming families. The Miko farms sit between 1700‐ 1900m and have been consistent with strong yield and higher than average cup scores. Gitega Hills processed a little over 150 tons of cherry for the first year, but the capacity of the station has it positioned for growth in the coming seasons.
Cherries delivered to the Gitega Hills station and then floated and separated to remove any defective cherries. The coffee is then placed on the raised African beds at about 2cm of thickness where it is dried for up to 30 days with regular turning each hour and covering during at night time.
From here the coffee is then left to rest before being transported to the RTC warehouse in Kigali where it is milled and prepped ready for shipment.