The aroma of fresh coffee is irresistible to many. There is a huge difference between the fresh, locally grown coffee and those stale products occupying space on the shelves of supermarkets the world over — inorganic lifeless concoctions that are consumed one year after being processed.
Rwanda is a specialty coffee producer. Most beans grown in the country are either Bourbon or Bourbon-derivative. According to the Rwanda Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), there are more than 400,000 coffee fields in the country, covering an area of approximately 42,000 hectares.
Coffee is an important generator of foreign currency. In addition, the crop supports the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of families in different parts of the country. In the tourism sector, a hands-on coffee experience has become a popular product. Through this unique experience, tourists are taught how to convert a crop into their favorite aromatic beverage. It is also a great opportunity for them to savor what is most likely the purest and freshest coffee they have ever sampled. Moreover, this excursion gives them a better understanding of the crop’s supply chain.
More and more coffee shops are being set up in response to the growing number of consumers. Akagera-bound tourists leave Kigali as early as 4 a.m. That is earlier than the usual breakfast time. Located in Kayonza, Urugo Roadside Café is ideal for those craving for coffee and a quick bite on their way to the park. You may need to place an order one day before if you are planning to pass by before 6 a.m. Apart from breakfast, the café offers take away snacks tourists need during their Akagera expeditions. Another coffee break on the way back to Kigali has proven to be very rejuvenating. Dropping by the café after a memorable game drive will tempt you to spend your money on more than coffee and pastries. Yogurt and other dairy products are also available.
These products are processed, packaged and branded by women from the local community. Their gifted hands are also responsible for the creation of a wide-range of handcrafts and fashion items displayed for sale in the gift shops found of both sides of the coffee shop. By purchasing these products, you will be contributing to the empowerment of women and the economic transformation of the entire community. When enabled, women are capable of improving the welfare of not only their families but also their communities and the entire nation.