Rwanda is a leading producer of the finest coffee beans in the world. Over a long time, Rwandans prefer tea to coffee despite growing the crop, especially the quality type. Coffee has been a major cash crop other than a subsistence crop in Rwanda. Locals claim that their love for tea is tied to its British origin. According to statistics, Rwanda only consumes 0.9% of the coffee it produces, exporting the rest 99.9% to foreign countries. Recently, the number of locals consuming coffee increased to 1.13%. This was a result of raising awareness on the health benefits of coffee. Coffee culture grows in Rwanda because of the raw materials to make it are readily available. That is the fine coffee beans from arabica trees.
History of coffee farming in Rwanda
Coffee farming in Rwanda dates back to the 20th century. The crop was introduced by Belgium and German colonizers. The locals were subjected to brutal conditions farming the crop. Under Belgium rule, coffee farming was made compulsory for all. However, the 1994 genocide almost wiped out the crop. This was as a result of the mass killings of the people and the destruction of crops. Later, president Paul Kagame realized that coffee farming will bring back the economy. He then put up policies that would facilitate the farming of coffee. Such policies included liberalizing trade, partnering with the United States Agency for International Development to introduce high-quality coffee in Rwanda. Ever since that coffee culture growth in Rwanda has never looked back.
Coffee beans from Rwanda’s Bourbones Arabica trees
Coffee lovers attest to it that the quality of the coffee is way better than the quantity. Quality coffee will give a wonderful taste. The fine beans from Rwanda arabica coffee trees are what constitute the quality much desired by the consumers. The demand for this quality coffee is prevalent worldwide. In Europe and US markets, the beans are much-coveted leading to them fetching higher prices. Consequently, the economy thrives and in turn production can be increased.
Campaigns on locals to take up coffee drinking
As part of campaigning for the drinking of coffee among the Rwandans, cafes and restaurants serve different flavors. They also offer tastings for curious consumers eager to taste everything. Coffee culture growth in Rwanda has also resulted in setting up of more coffee baristas. Today, coffee joints have increased to about 24 (the numbers are still rising). In as much as coffee is associated with sophistication, more people are ready to make a transition. Locals have more love for tea since they feel that coffee is too expensive to afford. The “Made in Rwanda” expos and seminars educating locals on the health benefits of coffee has led to the coffee culture growth in Rwanda.
Attendants in the urban centers of Rwanda have confirmed that more customers are now ordering coffee. They sip their coffee as they hold their business talks or when they relax after long days at work. Over the weekends, the busy professionals stream these cafes to grab their favorite flavor of the coffee. The servings have increased over time. Therefore, coffee culture growth in Rwanda will continue taking an upward curve.