One Thousand Hills (Rwanda): the PEARL project

by JulieCraves on January 30, 2006

“One Thousand Hills” Rwandan coffee, available through Michigan State University. MSU’s Institute of International Agriculture’s project PEARL – Partnership to Enhance Agriculture in Rwanda through Linkages – is helping Rwandans after the 1994 genocide rebuild by organizing coffee cooperatives, and teaching them skills in coffee production and marketing.  A portion of each sale goes back to PEARL. The genocide resulted in plantations being abandoned, and in many cases widowed women left to try to earn a living.  The cooperatives producing One Thousand Hills are 30 to 50% women.

Unfortunately, PEARL is funded by USAID, and the project has recently had its budget cut in half.  Read more about this crisis and steps being taken to insure the livelihoods of Rwandan coffee farmers — and our enjoyment of Rwandan coffee — can continue at portafilter.net.

Rwandan coffee has never been particularly notable (Rwandans being tea drinkers themselves), without much adherence to quality control. PEARL offered expertise in all aspects of sorting, washing, processing, and cupping, vastly improving the quality of the coffee.

Grown on small farms, in mountainous regions. Bourbon varietal. Medium roast, a clean, bright, smooth cup that I enjoyed very much.  Fair Trade.

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Revised on February 14, 2015

Posted in Coffee regions

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