The Lake Kivu processing station is located in western Rwanda. It is used by 43 small coffee farms and coffee farmers. The regions around Lake Kivu have the best conditions for good and sustainable coffee cultivation – mineral-rich soil, altitudes above 1500 m and sufficient rainfall. This gives the coffee cherries a strong coloured shade, which is reflected in a mild and fruity taste.
The Lake Kivu Coffee Washing Station is located in the Rutsiro district in the Western Province of Rwanda, a three and a half hour drive from Kigali. The station, built in 2003 by coffee farmers near the old town of Kayove (Rwanda), is now operated by a private company that offers price stability and a variety of social benefits to the farmers.
Originally serving 43 small coffee producers, Lake Kivu CWS now works with more than 2,000 small producers in the three sectors of Kigeyo, Kivumu and Mushonyi.
Lake Kivu CWS coffee plantations are mainly located in the Rutsiro district on the slopes of the volcanic mountains on the shores of Lake Kivu. Not only does this area offer farmers very fertile soils rich in clay minerals and volcanic residues, but they also benefit from the high altitudes (1500 to 1900 m) and heavy rainfall (with an average annual rainfall of 1200 mm), which provide this region with some of the best conditions and environments for growing Arabica coffee.
The region has two rainy seasons a year (mid-March to mid-May and September to December) and two harvest seasons for coffee: the high season from March to June and the low season from October to December.
The farmers who supply cherries to the Lake Kivu CWS grow and produce an Arabica variety called Bourbon Mayaguez.