Producer Profile: Buf Coffee

Producer Profile: Buf Coffee

Founded by Epiphanie Mukashyaka in 2000 and today managed by her son Sam Muhirwa, Buf Coffee produces some of our most loved Rwandan coffees and we are incredibly proud to partner with them ever since we started purchasing Rwandan coffees in 2015. Based in Rwanda’s Southern Province, Buf Coffee has been instrumental in shaping Rwanda’s specialty coffee industry, upholding quality and social responsibility, and producing exceptional coffees at their four washing stations.

Last year, we had the pleasure of spending time with Sam and Epiphanie in Rwanda. After working with Buf’s exceptional coffees for years, visiting their washing stations and meeting with their community was an amazing experience.

Epiphanie Mukashyaka is a pioneering business woman who founded Buf Coffee in 2000 after the tragic loss of her husband and one of their children in the 1994 genocide. In doing so, Epiphanie became the first Rwandan woman to own a private coffee company and establish a private washing station, Nyarusiza in 2003, a move inspiring many to come.

Buf’s operations have since expanded to three additional washing stations - Remera, Umurage and Ubumwe - and a dry mill. Today, they collect coffee cherries from nearly 7,000 smallholder producers, providing hundreds of jobs during peak harvest and 35 permanent positions year round.

Buf’s washing stations are all situated in Rwanda’s Southern Province, an area with high elevations, cool average temperatures and mineral rich soil. These ideal growing conditions, combined with Buf’s commitment to quality, really shine through the coffees produced here. Buf’s coffees have a distinct jammy sweetness and juicy acidity, and have been recognised in the Cup of Excellence on several occasions.

Buf produces the two major components of the Rwandan rendition of our Good Day blend, Nyamagabe and Ubumwe. We love the unique sweetness of these components. We also love some of their single producer lines such as Nyarusiza Women’s Coffee and Nyarusiza Kawanziza.

Buf are deeply committed to the communities they work with. Not only do they pay a fair price for cherries and distribute any extra profits from washing stations amongst all involved, they have also initiated a range of economic opportunities and social programs for their members.

In 2019, Buf opened Umuvumu Kindergarten at their Nyarusiza washing station. Recognising the need for early childhood education, and enabling their members to work whilst their children are cared for in a safe, closeby and nurturing environment. Plus, Buf has participated in the Rwandan government’s initiative to distribute 500 cows amongst their community over a five year period. For families, cows provide off-season income, nutritional benefits for families and excellent manure for coffee trees, as well as a traditional symbol of wealth and status in Rwanda.

Buf’s exceptional coffees and their commitment to their communities makes us incredibly proud to partner with them.

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