Coffee atlas: Rwanda

Capital: Kigali

Population: 13 million

Area: 26.3 thousand square km

Since the genocide of 1994, coffee has come to represent a symbol of recovery and regrowth for Rwanda.

Coffee was first brought to Rwanda in the early 1900s by German missionaries. Following the 1994 genocide a lot of investment was placed into the growth and development of the coffee sector. There existed a desire in the government that the country become more synonymous with the production of great coffee rather than the 1994 genocide.

The country is now recognised as one of the most stable countries in the region, with thanks in part to its constantly growing coffee exports.

Rwanda is colloquially referred to as the “Land of a thousand hills” and as such its geography is very well suited to coffee cultivation. Much like Burundi, however, soil depletion and the ‘potato’ defect exist as ongoing challenges to Rwanda’s coffee.

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Coffee regions in Rwanda

Northern Region

Lower altitude to the Western and Southern region

Common varietals: Bourbon, Mibirizi

Typical altitude: 1300–1900 m above sea level


Southern and Western Region

Centred around 3 main areas; the Huye mountains, the Nyamagabe region, and the Nyamasheke region in close proximity to Lake Kivu

Common varietals: Bourbon, Mibirizi

Typical altitude: 1700–2200 m above sea level


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