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CUP OF EXCELLENCE – Rwanda scoops world award for its premium coffee, reports KT Press

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KIGALI, RWANDA – Rwanda’s premium coffee has again been ranked among the best in the world by international coffee cuppers, on the occasion of the 2014 Rwanda Cup of Excellence Competition.
Specialty coffee grown on volcanic soils of Gakenke district in the north region of Rwanda exhibited unique aroma and flavor, attracting premium price tag on the international market.
A kilogram for Costa Rica’s sold at $90.2 while that of Rwanda sold at $81.79 to four Asian coffee dealers; Time’s Club, Coffee Libre, Kyokuto Fadie Corporation, TASHIRO COFFEE, from Japan and Korea respectively, after jointly bidding the highest prize among 88 bidders.
Last year, premium coffee was sold at $45 per kilogram while regular coffee sold at $5.
The competition and auctioning is organized by Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE), an American non-government organization.
A country exhibits more than one lot. Rwanda exhibited 28 lots if its Arabica Bourbon coffee.
Muhondo Coffee Company, a local washing station, presented 660kg from the volcanic soils of northern Rwanda, winning a cash prize of $110,499.18.
Other coffees also scored above 85%, selling at $57.76 to dealers from US, Australia, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
A total of 15,200.04Kg was sold at $301.770.65
Malliavin Nzamurambaho, the General Manager of LetSequoia, a Korean coffee dealer, said the Asian market is increasingly interested in Rwanda’s premium coffee.
Eric Ntwali, the National Coordinator of the Cup of Excellence, an annual national coffee competition, told Rwanda-based Agency KT Press that the coffee attracted more bidders from around the world than before.
He said farmers spend enormous amount of time and skills on coffee right from planting, to harvesting and to washing. The processors also take maximum precautions and intensive sorting before packing the beans.
Muhondo coffee has now won the award for the second time. During the national Cup of Excellence, in August, their coffee also scored over 90%.
In return for their effort to produce the world’s best coffee, the farmers will get 50% of the prize cash. The rest is shared between organizers and the dealers.
Rwanda exports about 22,000 tons of Arabica bourbon coffee per year. Over 95% is exported as green beans.
Coffee contributed 8% of Rwanda’s total export in 2013 fetching $56m. The figure is expected to rise after fetching $12.8m during the first quarter of 2014.

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