Coffee category: Bright
Process: WashedWhat to expect: Those that enjoy a delicate washed Ethiopian coffee will really enjoy this offering. With lots of sweetness expect notes of peach and a slightly cinnamon and black tea body. This is rounded off by some really nice chocolatey notes.
Producer: Muraho Trading Co
Region: Nyabihu District
Altitude: 1,900-2,300m above sea level
Varietals: Red Bourbon
Farm size: <1 hectare on average
The Shyira washing station has only just began selling internationally and it is exciting to see how it develops and progress over the next few years. Every year they have encountered challenges - as there is with the pursuit of anything. In 2020 there was a significant mudslide that affected many of the near 2000 farmers who contribute their cherry to the washing station. The purchase of this coffee, and a premium paid this season, has supported the re-development of their communities.
Located in the North of Rwanda in an area known as Nyabihu, close by to the famed Virunga Mountain where you've possibly heard of the Silverback Gorillas. The landscape is beautifully lush and green, with steep slopes and rich red soils. Farms are more like backyard gardens, with an array of different crops planted in harmony, creating a wonderful sense of biodiversity.
The washing station itself is not large, with less than 50 raised drying beds. Washed coffees take up to 40 days to dry and natural even longer, up to 60 or 75 days - a huge reason as to why you'll see very little Shyira Natural on the global market. There is such a significant amount of cloud coverage and only so much sunlight that permeates through the mountain peaks above, day after day.
A word from Muraho Trading Co, founders of the Shyira washing station;
"Our “Little Baby” Shyira is the smallest of all our washing stations however it is the highest located known in Rwanda sitting at 1850m above sea level. Shyira is an hour drive up the hills from the township of Musanze (Ruhengeri). The weather conditions, soil type and its high-altitude lands makes this area an ideal setting for high-quality coffee processing and production. On the drive up, when you reach on top of the Shyira hills, you will be met with a view that will take your breath away - the chain of volcanoes in between the beautiful beasts of Rwanda the Mountain Gorillas come from to the waterfalls of the wonderful Gicice river. As if that is not enough, combined with the valley full of white sands, fog covering hills and good weather makes Shyira truly unique and one of a kind. It is often debated between our families and guests which of the three is more beautiful between Shyira, Kilimbi and Gisheke. Let’s just say it is a very close battle!"
The flavour profile of Shyira is reminiscent of top Ethiopian coffee. There's a beautiful acidity that's defined by a citrus medley, with floral top notes, a honey-like richness, a heavier-than-tea-like body and overall incredible smooth and structured composure.