Twongerekawa Coko Cooperative
|Yuzu. Sugarcane. Meyer lemon blossoms.
Known as “the land of a thousand hills,” Rwanda’s ridges and slopes are prime for the cultivation of clean and floral coffees. Coko (pronounced CHO-co) is one notable example – its Bourbon varietals are grown over 2,000 meters above sea level in the Gakenke district, an elevation which allows for a slow development of the cherry, yielding greater complexity and sweetness in the bean.
The small washing station of Coko is owned by the twelve-person, female-led Twongerekawa Coko Cooperative. Its members are professional cultivars attentive in the production and processing of the coffee, earning Coko a well-deserved 90.5-point score. In addition, Twongerekawa implements progressive measures to alleviate poverty and empower women in its area.
Specialty coffee has played a crucial role in the rebuilding of Rwanda following its 1994 civil war. In the last two decades, Rwanda has transformed from a country that grew almost no coffee to one that exclusively produces specialty coffee. Today, Rwanda’s coffee is amongst the best in the continent and rivals that of Kenya and Ethiopia.