RWANDA • BUGOYI NTUMBA
Emmanuel began trialing a process he calls ‘Intango’ during the 2018 harvest. The name comes from a Rwandese tradition in which fruit would be fermented in clay ‘intango’ jars to create a potent elixir for warriors to consume prior to battle. Emmanuel explains, it is an homage to local history and tradition. For the process, the best quality cherries
are tightly packed into sealed jars and left to ferment for 48 - 100 hours. For the Fugi lot, the target fermentation time was 70 hours. In today’s specialty coffee vocabulary, it is ‘anaerobic’. But because all fermentation are anaerobic by definition, we like to refer to this process as a ‘low oxygen whole cherry fermentation’.
Emmanuel sourced this specific lot from three smallholders Joseph Mberabahizi, Marie Nyirangendahimana & Victor Munyankiko. They all operate farms on the islands of Lake Kivu. Farmers do not live on site here and small plots must be reached by boat. Brendan Adams of Semilla describes the logistical challenges fostered by the lake: "In year’s past, we’ve heard some pretty terrifying stories of capsized boats headed for shores, overloaded with cherries". Luckily in addition to paying some of the highest farmgate prices, Emmanuel and the Baho team also pay for their transport, ensuring a safe vessel to get the cherries from the trees to Bugoyi station.
Built in 2012 and purchased by Baho in 2016, Buogyi is Emmanuel’s largest station
producing predominantly specialty coffee. Bugoyi collects cherry from roughly 1300
farmers, producing around1300 bags of exportable coffee annually, and employing 187
people at the peak of the season. On top of their standard wages, Baho pays into
both health insurance and pension plans for all workers at Bugoyi. Along with Fugi,
this is the first station that Emmanuel focused on when launching the Baho
Compared to other experimental processing which rely on plastic or steel, the clay intango pots are porous, which helps to harbor very specific local microbes. The resulting cup is intensely fruit-forward like tropical fruit punch. Vivid tropical acidity sparkles with bright red plum. Grape carries the cup with heavy sweetness, think jelly or juice. And the finish is candy sweet with a delightful floral flavour.
Red Plum, Grape Jelly & Cotton Candy.
Western Province, Rutsiro District.
Baho Coffee's Bugoyi Station.
Joseph Mberabahizi, Marie Nyirangendahimana & Victor Munyankiko.
100 Hour Intango.