The varietal grown is Red Bourbon. Bourbon coffee is widely grown across Rwanda.
It is known for its high quality and sweet taste. This coffee is a medium yield varietal and crops have to be carefully maintained as they has a relatively low resistance to pests and disease.
After harvesting, the coffee cherry is wet fermented. The beans are then sorted by density using water filled grading channels. The coffee is dried
under cover for 24 hours before being moved to uncovered drying beds for an average of 15 days. During that period the coffee is continually hand sorted by an army of workers who are meticulous in their removal of defect beans.
The Gitega Hill’s washing station is located in the Nyamagabe District of the southern province of Rwanda. It is located very close to Nyungwe Forest and the source of the River Nile .
Bernard Uwitije, a local man, had been farming and trading coffee in a conventional way until, in 2015, he realised the potential for fully washed specialty grade coffee.
He re-equipped his washing station with a 1500kg Penagos machine, fermentation tanks, and raised drying beds. These investments, along with strong oversight, has yielded very high quality coffees in a relatively short space of time.
The average farm supplying to Gitega is at an altitude around 1650m, and that high altitude along with the volcanic soil of the area and Bernard Uwitije's expertise make Gitega an excellent location for growing and processing high quality coffee.