We're guessing you probably drink coffee, or at least know someone who does. If you've never had the chance to visit a coffee farm, here's a great opportunity for you. Come spend some time at a father and son coffee farm and washing station. On this visit, you'll get to see how coffee is grown, harvested, washed, dried, and packaged for export. You'll be welcome to pick coffee and participate in any of the activities taking place that day. In addition, you'll learn all there is to know about the coffee growing and washing process. At the end of the visit, Aime and his father Gahizi will prepare for you a cup of their own coffee. We think you'll appreciate your morning cup of coffee a lot more after a visit to the family coffee farm.
You can arrive to the farm anytime between 7:30am and 5:00pm, depending on what you want to experience. The general farm and coffee washing station schedule is as follows:
7:30am-2:00pm (M-F) coffee picking
7:30am-9:30am coffee washing
9:30am start sorting coffee and other farm jobs
Noon - 1pm lunch
1pm - 5pm coffee sorting and other farm jobs
Coffee washing sometimes takes place in the afternoon, but there are no guarantees.
"Coffee is about quality, not quantity. You have to be there for it every step of the way."
GAHIZI, Aime's father, is from Karongi District, Gitesi Sector, and is the former manager of the local branch of a major bank. He was also a teacher in a secondary school in Congo. He went to Burundi in 1990 and started a coffee shop and restaurant. He eventually returned to Rwanda and was on the city council of Kicukiro District in Kigali. In 2000, he started planting coffee and started Gitesi Coffee Washing Station. Gitesi started harvesting coffee in 2004 and started the washing station in 2006. After overcoming 4 years of challenges, they perfected the coffee washing process in 2010, and Aime joined the family business 2011. Their goal is to buy more land each year and plant about 2,000 more trees.
In addition to being an agronomist and running the family's coffee farm and washing station, Aime is a civil engineer by trade. The coffee season usually runs from about January to June/July, so he's got his hands full on the farm during that time. After the harvest, Aime works to export the fruits of their labor. The family's coffee is mainly exported to the United States and European markets. During the down time at the farm, Aime heads to the capital city, Kigali, to work as a civil engineer.