Meet Raissa Ikuzwe the founder and CEO of INO Coffee Series, the freshest Rwandan Arabica coffee.
INO coffee series was founded with the purpose of celebrating and highlighting the speciality coffee of Rwanda. This is our way of paying tribute to the hardworking farmers of a country we call home. Our first release of the natural coffee series is from the western part of Rwanda on the shores of Lake Kivu.
Rwanda is known worldwide for its fine coffees – a product of rich soils, high altitudes, plentiful equatorial sunshine, and rainfall – and for how the coffee is carefully processed. INO Coffee Series green beans are brought from dedicated small farmers who are also members of a coffee cooperative. They farm the coffee on small plots of land, typically less than a quarter of a hectare in size. We are supplied coffee directly by about 1,000 such farmers located all around the country.
At INO Coffee Series, we believe that when it comes to coffee beans, quality and craftsmanship always take precedence. Blending, roasting and brewing coffee is an art and a science rolled into one. We are proud to say we have mastered this technique. Our beans grace tables and venues across Rwanda. Expertly crafted and packed with a lifetime of passion, INO Coffee Series is an exceptional coffee fit for the world.
Rwanda’s coffee history
Rwanda’s coffee history dates back to the 1930s when the Belgian colonial empire forced Rwandan farmers to plant an abundance of coffee trees. This ultimately created a ‘low-quality/low-price’ trap which was a bane for the entire nation. Rwandan farmers also lacked the proper infrastructure necessary to wash and process so much coffee. Whatever coffee was actually produced was often of the poorest quality.
Today, the Rwandan coffee industry is producing some of the highest quality coffee in the world. The coffee industry in Rwanda has been responsible for creating jobs, as well as boosting small farmer expenditure and consumption. By joining this once broken community, they now work side-by-side in complete harmony. Growing and processing the highest quality coffee beans in the world.
This resulted in the rebirth of the Nkora washing station, which is not only the first washing station in Rwanda but also the largest. Allowing a part of Rwandan history to directly tie into the making of INO Coffee Series.
These developments were made possible by leaders who recognized the potential in the coffee industry. They began lowering trade barriers and lifting restrictions on coffee farmers. Then, Rwanda developed a strategy focused on the production of high-quality beans. The leaders of the Rwandan coffee industry found out that prices on speciality coffee beans often remain quite stable, even when lower-quality coffee prices fall. But the farmers didn’t have to switch the type of coffee beans they were producing. Instead, they focused on paying special attention to the best growing practices, which improved the quality of the coffee.
Speciality coffee in Rwanda has been processed for over 15 years. This led to profits which have allowed Rwandan coffee farmers to send their children to school, build new homes and reinvest in their own plantations. It has also had a direct impact on Rwanda itself, becoming one of the cleanest and safest countries in Africa. It also has the highest participation of women in the parliament, compared to other countries. This rebuilding of the community has allowed a nation that was once torn apart to come together and unite for a better future – a future in which not only their country can flourish, but the community that sustains it as well.
So, the next time you decide to drink a cup of coffee, take the time to find out where it came from. If your coffee came from Rwanda, remember that what you’re drinking helped rebuild a once broken nation.