Do You Like Coffee From Rwanda? Revisit Our Journey There!


For a whirlwind week back in the summer of 2012, Sprudge had the distinct privilege of traveling to tiny mountain nation of Rwanda. Our coverage was made possible by Fair Trade USA, and we spent our week there alongside FTUSA staff members Ben Schmerler and Richard Sandlin, as well as Counter Culture Coffee green buyer Tim Hill, and local "fixer"/ … [Read more...]

Rwanda Part 3 – Organic Agro & Lil Wayne


And he'll tell her - He's working late again But she knows too well there's something goin' on. By virtue of its inclusion on our Land Rover driver's country-western mix CD, Kenny Rogers' classic "Daytime Friends" has gone micro-viral this week amongst our traveling group. This song was a #1 hit on the Country Western charts in August 1977, and … [Read more...]

Rwanda Profiles: Buf Cafe, Remera Washing Station


The famed Buf Cafe washing station is high, high up in the mountains near the village of Karaba, in the Ginkongoro prefecture in south-central Rwanda. Buf's story has been told and told again in the specialty coffee industry, and for good reason: Epiphanie Muhirwa has become a superstar in global specialty, a living emblem of Rwandan economic … [Read more...]

Rwanda Profiles: Kinunu Washing Station, KZ Noir


In a week full of visits to gorgeous washing stations, the one at Kinunu, on the shores of Lake Kivu, is without a doubt the most dramatically beautiful. It sits on a sloping hillside that leads directly to the shores of Lake Kivu, an enormous inland lake that separates Rwanda from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Jungle islands dot the … [Read more...]

Rwanda Part 2 – Muzungu En Velo!


Data is a big deal in Rwanda. This place has effectively skipped land line culture, advancing from a very few, select telephone opportunities to a mighty glut of cell phones, and local data plan companies servicing those cell phones. They are in hot competition with each other, waging a marketing war on the canvas of the city of Kigali itself, as … [Read more...]

Rwanda Profiles: Dukunde Kawa Cooperative


First, to settle a discrepancy we've encountered back in North America: "Dukunde Kawa" is actually two words, and is printed as such on signage throughout the coooperative's Musasa washing station. We've occasionally seen it labeled "Dukendekawa" on packaging in the West, and that's how its printed on the entrance sign, but it was only done that … [Read more...]

Rwanda Profiles: Abakundakawa Cooperative


Deep in a valley down a hillside from the village of Musasa sits the Rusashi washing station, focal point for the Abakundakawa Cooperative. The Co-op began in 2005, and it currently serves 1961 member farmers; Aba's president is a gentleman named Jean Marie Kianey Bicamumakuba, and he presides over a 5 person board, a 3 person control council, a … [Read more...]

Rwanda Part One: Primus Guma Guma Superstar


To be very clear from the get-go, we are not Rwanda experts, or East African specialty coffee experts, or travel experts or yellow fever inoculation experts. But we are most assuredly here, working from the Hotel des Mille Collines, which most of the world knows from the film "Hotel Rwanda" but is in actuality a lovely several-star luxury hotel … [Read more...]

Rwanda Profiles: Laetitia Mukandahiro


Specialty coffee is a woven tapestry of individuals, from roasters to baristas, producers to farmers. All week long we’ll be profiling personalities who work in the Rwandan specialty coffee industry. All from Rwanda coverage made possible by Fair Trade USA. Cupping with to Laetitia Mukandahiro is a bit like taking batting practice next to Joey … [Read more...]

Rwanda Profiles: Gilbert Gatali of KZ Noir


Specialty coffee is a woven tapestry of individuals, from roasters to baristas, producers to farmers. All week long we'll be profiling personalities who live and work in the Rwandan specialty coffee industry. Coverage made possible by Fair Trade USA. Gilbert Gatali is one of the first people we meet here in Rwanda, and that's no accident. Mr. … [Read more...]

Sprudge In Rwanda


Currently en route from Rome via Brussels, Belgium, your editors will be reporting live all week long from the tiny, mountainous East African nation of Rwanda. Our itinerary - in concert with Fair Trade USA and Counter Culture Coffee - takes us from Kigali to Butare, and to around a half-dozen coffee cooperatives throughout Western … [Read more...]