Groundbreaking Coffee Tours in Rwanda
Rwanda is known for its extraordinary Gorilla Trekking Adventures in the Volcanoes National Park but there is more to the country of a Thousand Hills. The country has earned its reputation as one of the best coffee creators in the world, with high-quality and delicious coffee being produced throughout the country.
Coffee in Rwanda has similar characteristics to other East African countries, such as Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia but one key characteristic with a Rwandan brew is the silky, creamy body of every cup. The aroma of Rwandan coffee provides hints of lemon and orange blossom, complementing the sweet citrus qualities, and caramel aftertaste.
As you prepare for a vacation to Rwanda or one of its fellow East African Countries, we highly recommend a Coffee Tour and Tasting. Experience the essence of Africa’s coffee while you visit our beautiful continent.
In this blog, we will only be focusing on two plantation tours in Rwanda and the full-bodied cup of coffee you can expect when touring the coffee plantations in this land-locked country. Rwanda is home to various coffee plantations so whether your time is limited to a night or two in the capital of Kigali or you plan on visiting Rwanda for a longer stay, exploring Volcanoes National Park, Lake Kivu and Akagera National Park, there is a tour for you.
*Pembury Travel Advice:
Rwanda’s Coffee Tours can only be booked through a Tour Operator or the Rwanda Development Board. When planning your journey to Rwanda, let us know if you are interested in a coffee tour and we make all the arrangements as your trusted Travel Specialist.
Kigali’s Best Coffee Tour
The capital city of Kigali is one of Africa’s most prestigious cities, with a bustling business sector and a vibrant tourism community. Often enough, your tour includes an overnight stay in Kigali. This is always recommended or included due to your arrival or departure flight and the connection to your next destination in Rwanda.
During your overnight stay, you can experience the Capital City of Kigali as any local would. Dine at one of the many restaurants, explore the historical sites scattered around the city and join a coffee tasting at Question Coffee.
Question Coffee is a speciality coffee café located in Gishushu, Kigali. The remarkable establishment offers travellers a cup to go, a sit-down cup or a full tour of the coffee plantation and process, known as crop to cup.
A coffee tour at Question’s coffee is very different to a coffee tour in Cape Town or Tanzania. The café offers a detailed history of the company, the coffee and production. Your tour starts in the gardens of the coffee shop, within a mini coffee plantation. An explanation on the harvesting of the cherries is explained and the process of eventually drying the beans, and neither process is for the faint-hearted!
Returning to the tasting room, the process of tasting and evaluating the coffee is explained. Here, you learn how to make the perfect grind, savour each flavour and simply taste and experience each sip of locally brewed coffee.
The tour is very interactive and educational. In the end, you not only have a newfound respect for coffee but the work that the Question Coffee team do within Rwanda is certainly one to admire and support.
Atmospheric Coffee Tours along Lake Kivu
The lush hills surrounding Lake Kivu are covered with coffee and tea plantations. Many of the crops are used for local consumption or exportation but there are a few that are open to travelers. Tours to the coffee plantations and washing stations in Lake Kivu are guided by the local farmers. These tours dive deeper into the process of coffee brewing, from the initial stages to the final freshly brewed cup.
Similar to Question Coffee’s, the tour is very interactive, and visitors have the opportunity of engaging in the process by harvesting coffee, sorting, grading, fermenting, drying and roasting coffee. The tours along Lake Kivu offer an in-depth look into making each cup of Rwandan coffee and because of this, the tours often last for around 4 to 5 hours.
If you are spending a few days along the shores of Lake Kivu, a coffee or tea plantation tour should be on your list of activities. The tours along Lake Kivu can be booked if you are spending two or more nights in Kigali. The coffee plantations and washing stations are a 4 hour drive from Kigali and this can be arranged as a day tour by your travel consultant.
Tours along Lake Kivu have two main plantations for traveller to experience. Ingoboka and Kinunu Washing Station are usually included in your tour and depending on the time of year you visit Rwanda, you can expect to see cranberry red or emerald green coffee beans.