This is already the fifth year in a row we bought Rushashi. We have a good relationship with This Side Up importers and Rushashi is the first co-op they started with. Rushashi is progressive, with women empowerment programs and water/energy saving depulping systems. This sweet and fruity Rushashi has notes of blueberries, marshmallow and an appel/pear note as well.
Rushashi Coffee Washing Station (CWS) is the largest of two washing stations owned by the Abakundakawa coffee producer cooperative, one of This Side Up’s first partners. It is located in the lush and green Gakenke district, characterised by high spiky hills at high altitude – making it ideal for high quality coffee production. It is no coincidence that this region produces some of Rwanda’s most sought after coffees.
Abakundakawa Rushashi became This Side Up’s first partner in 2013. With a water- and energy saving triple fermentation method, advanced pulp recycling methods and two women empowerment organisations, Rushashi coffee washing station (CWS) is truly progressive. We created the country’s first cascara with them in 2015 and since 2016, increased traceability by offering “village lots” from only several of the washing station’s twelve collection points. In 2017-2018, they rocked the European coffee scene with a killer natural experiment that TSU plan to keep in the assortment in coming years.
Rushashi serves as a prime example of how Rwandan cooperative societies can become sustainable by constantly improving quality and operatig sustainably. With the help of MISOZI, a local private but social exporting business, they are able to sell their unforgettably complex coffees worldwide – it’s no surprise that they frequently earn a place in the Rwanda Cup Of Excellence competition (highest: 3d place!). For three years, This Side Up’s premium has been invested in Rushashi’s financial independence from rural banks by the cooperative’s members, while from 2017 onwards, we have been investing in a nursery for shade trees and other plants that organically strengthen the coffee.
The coffee is fully washed and triple fermented: all coffee is hand picked, depulped, dry fermented for 12 hours, double wet fermented (2 x 18 hours), washed with mountain water, shade dried, then sun dried on raised beds.