Buf Remera Tuzamurane Lot 12, Rwanda | ESPRESSO
Buf Remera Tuzamurane Lot 12, Rwanda | ESPRESSO
Buf Remera Tuzamurane Lot 12, Rwanda | ESPRESSO
Williams & Johnson Coffee Co.

Buf Remera Tuzamurane Lot 12, Rwanda | ESPRESSO

Regular price $14.00 $0.00 Unit price per
Tax included.

Tasting notes:

Plum, kiwi, peach, short crust pastry


Rwanda. Gasaka Sector, Southern Province


Fully Washed


1,750 - 2,100 masl


Red Bourbon


Average size of farms is 0.25 hectares




This 100% Red Bourbon coffee was processed using the fully washed method at Buf Café’s Remera washing station. 45 producers contribute their cherries for this lot, growing coffee at an average altitude of 1,900 metres above sea level. Deemed the Remera Tuzamurane lot, which translates to mean ‘support each other and develop together’ signifying that this coffee comes from a group of strong producers, working to become resilient and grow high quality coffee.

Buf Café was founded in 2003 by Epiphanie Mukashyaka, a dynamic businesswoman and a source of inspiration to countless other female entrepreneurs in Rwanda’s coffee sector and beyond. Buf is now managed by Epiphanie and her son, Samuel Muhirwa, who is taking an increasingly active role in running and expanding the business. The title ‘Buf’ derives from ‘Bufundu’, the former name of the region in which its washing stations are located.

Epiphanie, who was born in 1959, was widowed during the 1994 genocide-which claimed over 800,000 lives in just 3 months-but chose not to leave her family’s small coffee farm. Instead, she set about rebuilding and developing her business and with it the local community. She started Buf Café in 2003,when she established Remera washing station with a loan from the Rwandan Development Bank and the assistance of the USAID-financed PEARL project.

This transformational programme was aimed at switching the focus in the Rwandan coffee sector from an historic emphasis on quantity to one of quality-and so opening up Rwanda to the far higher-earning specialty coffee market. The programme and its successor, SPREAD, have been invaluable in helping Rwanda’s small-scale coffee farmers to rebuild their production in the wake of the devastating 1994 genocide and the1990s world coffee crash.

Buf Café now owns four coffee washing stations–Remera, Nyarusiza, Ubumwe and Umurage. The company, which was serving less than 500 farmers in 2003, is now procuring coffee cherries from almost 7,000 smallholder farmers in the Southern province of Rwanda, among them 1,069 are registered members. At Buf’s Remera washing station in 2014 there was a total of 674,392kg of cherry delivered throughout the season, approximately 3% of which was delivered by trees owned by Epiphane and her family. The remaining quantity of delivered cherry comes from farmers within the community surrounding the washing station. 

Buf has strong links with the local communities that supply it, providing jobs for 116 at Nyarusiza during peak harvest (May-June/July) and 9 permanent positions. A further 127 people are employed at Remera during harvest, with 10 permanent positions. At the end of each season Buf will share any surplus profits with both the cooperatives that it works with and its washing station managers.

The majority of the small farmers in the area have an average of only 300 coffee trees (less than a quarter of a hectare) and use some of their land to cultivate other crops such as maize and beans to feed themselves and their families. Most of their income from the sale of coffee is used to take their children to school, pay for medical care and for investment in livestock such as a cow for milk, both for use in the home and for sale locally.

The level of care that all Buf washing stations take over their processing is impressive. Cherries are hand-picked only when fully ripe and go through stringent sorting at all stages of processing.

After the harvest from each of the 45 farms, the cherries are delivered to the Remera washing station to be processed. First, the coffee is submerged in flotation tanks filled with water to remove any low-quality cherries. The pulp is then removed, and the beans undergo a dry fermentation to initiate the breakdown of the exterior mucilage. Intermediate washing then occurs to remove any remaining mucilage or debris. The Beans are then evenly dispersed on raised beds to begin drying in the open sun. Once the ideal moisture content is reached, the coffee is transported to the Ubumwe dry mill to be hulled and prepared for export. 

In Order to ensure traceability, lots are first separated by collection point (farmers usually hail from around 3 km distance from each collection point) and are also separated out by days. Upon delivery as cherry, the coffee receives a paper ‘ticket’ that follows the lot through all its processing. This ticket bears the date of harvest, the collection point name, and the grade (A1, A2 etc) of the coffee–for instance, if a coffee lot is called ‘Lot 1-06/04-A1’, this means it was the first lot processed on April 4 and the grade is A1. This simple but effective practice is a crucial tool in controlling quality and ensuring the traceability of lots.

Once in Kigali, each lot is cupped by the expert team of cuppers at Rwashocco, Mercanta’s exporting partner, many of whom have been Q graders for a decade. These coffee professionals make sure that the very best coffees make their way onto Mercanta’s cupping table.

Overall, the Buf organisation is aiming to become more sustainable, addressing the needs of the environment and the people to ensure a harmonious balance is maintained. Specifically, staff members are beginning to understand the natural benefits of different flora for coffee production. They are working carefully with the Nyungwe forest to utilise the rich soil and teeming bee communities to seek benefits for eco-friendly coffee production.

Additionally, the wellbeing of the staff and their families are regularly monitored. Jobs at the processing level are offering more opportunities for growth and improved income for staff. The Umuvumu Kindergarten school is open for the children of producers and staff to begin their educational development whilst their parents work. Livelihoods are slowly being improved thanks to the additional support from Buf including electricity and clean water. The future of coffee is bright in Rwanda thanks to this work.


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