David Rubanzangabo

Region

Huye District, Rwanda

Partnered with Stumptown

2012

Varieties

Bourbon

Processing techniques

Washed

Elevation

1600 - 2200 Meters

On Our Menu

Rwanda Huye Mountain

David Rubanzangabo operates the Huye Mountain washing station with an emphasis on community, and a strong dedication to the 1,200 area farmers it serves.

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David Rubanzangabo did not know he would end up working in coffee, let alone become a producer himself. In his early career, David studied agronomy and began working in the country’s rural agricultural sector. He began working with PEARL and later SPREAD, USAID projects aimed at developing the country's rural agricultural sectors. The program's director, Tim Schilling, argued for the future and opportunity in coffee. He would become a good friend, business partner, and leader of the specialty industry in Rwanda.

After teaching producers about coffee farming for several years, David bought land near the place he grew up, in the Huye district. He planted coffee trees and purchased his own processing equipment. Once his small washing station was built, it attracted the interest of farmers in the area, many of whom David had trained. That first season, David produced 50 bags of coffee with the cherry from his farm and others -- and Huye Mountain Coffee was born.

Today, David manages two washing stations that serve over 1,200 farmers in the Huye district within Rwanda's southern province. Rwanda is called “The Land of a Thousand Hills,” and Huye is no exception. The farmers who deliver coffee to the Huye washing stations cultivate their Bourbon variety in the verdant mountain highlands between 1600 and 2200 meters of elevation. Throughout harvest, David's sister Rachel roasts and cups coffees as they come off the drying beds, checking each day's delivery for quality. On any given day during the season, Rachel might cup 40-60 different samples, representing day lots of 800 - 7,000 pounds each. Stumptown’s Huye Mountain offering is the combination of many top-scoring lots that are selected through this meticulous quality control process.

David is always looking for ways to invest in quality practices and improve. In 2020, to further optimize their operations, David constructed a dry milling facility so that each step in the post-harvest process is managed by the Huye team. This marked the realization of a huge goal for David and the evolution of the washing station into an independent exporter.

These types of innovations are not only a testament to David's business leadership, but also his unwavering goal of empowering his community. Through our relationship with David over the years, Stumptown has contributed a social premium to support a variety of projects for Huye farmers, from a clean water well to health insurance to a microlending program. In 2020, Stumptown helped co-fund the construction of a coffee nursery and the distribution of new seedlings to Huye farmers, an initiative put forth by David to increase productivity of the farms. This first phase of the project will include the construction of plant nurseries and the distribution of 400,000 seedlings to 2,500 Huye area farmers.

We are proud to partner with this organization and delighted to welcome back Rwanda Huye Mountain to our menu year after year.

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