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Washington, DC 20037
United States

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Coffees

At Bourbon, the core of our mission is in our coffee. Our name, “Bourbon Coffee,” originates from the Bourbon varietal of Arabica coffee beans, which has grown wild in Rwanda for over a century. Bourbon beans are known for their deep, buttery chocolate flavors, as well as their sweetness and very light fruit overtones. They yield well-balanced coffees and are less common than other types of coffee beans as Bourbon plants generally carry fewer coffee cherries per plant than other varieties.

Using sustainable, eco-friendly farming techniques, Rwanda’s coffee farmers cultivate this exceptional varietal collectively, pooling their resources to nurture and harvest the beans. All of our locations serve exclusively Direct Trade coffee from Rwanda’s five distinct growing regions.

Differing from the typical flavor profiles of African coffees, Rwandan coffee offers complex and unusual tastes that are unique to their regional origins. We highly recommend trying each of our exceptional coffees to find your perfect cup!



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5 growing regions of rwanda

Virunga
Region: NW Rwanda, Mountain Region
Elevation: 6200-7200 feet
Sweet and vibrant, coffees from this region thrive in the rich volcanic soils of the mountain gorillas' homeland. Look for a pecan nuttiness and a smooth, clover-honey finish. Virunga coffees make particularly excellent espresso.

Kivu
Region: Western Rwanda, Lake Region
Elevation: 5900-6500 feet
Delicate and incredibly complex, Kivu coffees come from the 1600-meter hills in Western Rwanda near Lake Kivu. They are packed with hints of sweet orange and cocoa, with a subtle cherry-lime finish and rounded complexity that makes for a wonderfully approachable espresso or drip coffee.

Kizi Rift
Region: Central Rwanda, Rift Valley Region
Elevation: 6500-7200 feet
Nutty and mellow with jasmine aromatics, these coffees grow in Rwanda's Central Rift Valley. Look for nutmeg and roasted chestnut accents over a buttery caramel base. Accessible and inviting with nearly any brewing method.

Muhazi
Region: Eastern Rwanda, Lake Region
Elevation: 4600-5200 feet
Soft, earthy, and deep, these coffees come from the resort area of Lake Muhazi. Hints of bittersweet chocolate coupled with the spicy smoothness of strong black tea make Muhazi beans an amazing choice for drip coffee.

Akagera
Region: Southeast Rwanda, Wildlife Region
Elevation: 4200-4900 feet
Coffees from Akagera are generally noted for their sharp tartness and clean finish. They are medium-bodied, with hints of blackberry, black tea, and cardamom, as well as peppery aromatics. Wonderful as a drip coffee or iced coffee.


currently available

Kivu Karengera


Karengera Washing Station is located in Southwestern Rwanda, in the Nyamasheke District of the Kivu region. Coffee cherries are collected from 2600 small farms in the area and processed through the station before being sent to Bourbon Rwanda. Karengera is notable as a pioneer in the Rwandan coffee industry, as it was the first washing station to achieve Rainforest Alliance certification in the country.

Elevation: 1700 meters
Processing Method:Fully Washed and Sun-dried on raised African drying beds
Tasting Notes:
Karengera has notes of sweet butter, brown sugar, cacao, and hibiscus. It is noted for its tart acidity and sweetness, as well as a creamy body.

Kivu Karengera is available on pour-over and drip coffee at all locations, and is available as whole bean both in store and online. We currently offer a medium roast of this coffee.


Kivu Inzovu

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This coffee is named after the 30-member farmer cooperative called Inzovu, meaning "elephant" in Kinyarwanda (a language native to Rwanda). Inzovu comes from the Nyakabuye area of the Ruisizi District in the Southwest Kivu region of Rwanda. Situated 1200-1800m above sea level, Nyakabuye has a climate with consistent rainfall and relatively cool temperatures.


The farmers making up the Inzovu cooperative work on farms with anywhere from 200-4000 coffee trees each, and despite being fairly new to the scene, having joined forces in 2007, they soon built their own washing station and now work with a number of domestic companies to share their coffees with the world.


Elevation: 1700m

Processing Method: Fully washed and sun-dried on raised African beds

Tasting notes: Inzovu offers a full body and bright acidity, with notes of dark chocolate, black cherry, yellow nectarine, and apricot. This is one of the best Rwandan coffees we've ever tried, and are very excited to be able to bring it to all of you.

Kivu Shangi


Shangi Washing Station is located in Southwestern Rwanda, in the Nyamasheke District of the Kivu region. The station collects cherries from the surrounding Abizerana Farmer Cooperative, which boasts 137 farms in the area. In 2013, the washing station won the Cup of Excellence for its entrance of a coffee from its small-hold farmer lots. The washing station has recently begun a project with their resident farmers to build a food storage unit for the cooperative.

Elevation: 1500-2000 meters
Processing Method:Fully Washed and Sun-dried on raised African drying beds
Tasting Notes:
Kivu Shangi offers a complexity of flavor notes, including a light body, vanilla sweetness, bright passion fruit, and delicate florals.

This coffee is available on pour-over at all locations depending on availability, and is available as whole bean both in store and online. We currently offer a medium roast of this coffee.