Nova Coffee Ltd was founded by Agnès Mukamushinja in 2015 with a mission to
intentionally grow and source coffees. Nova Washing Station has built relations with
three producer cooperatives from Gicumbi District in Northern Rwanda, supporting over 1000 farmer households. Nova Coffee Ltd’s self-assigned mission is to fight for gender equality in coffee cultivation as well as to enhance the overall socio-economic welfare of the producer communities while employing more sustainable agricultural practices. They demonstrate these commitments by getting certified by UTZ for its coffee growing practices and by being an active member of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance.
Ikawa House Ltd sourced Nova for us. Having worked in coffee for over 30 years combined, Laetitia Mukandahiro and Uzziel Habimana founded the company in 2019. Their motivation was to combine their extensive coffee experience with their motivation to make a difference in the Rwandan coffee sector. In fact, they have been part of teams who have significantly contributed to the Rwandan specialty coffee
sector. One of these projects was the Partnership for Enhancing Agriculture in Rwanda through Linkages (PEARL) project in the early 2000s. The project was developed and implemented by Rwanda and USA based universities and public institutions. It is widely accepted that the project transformed the coffee sector by organizing 9 washing stations to have better market access along with training their members in coffee cultivation, quality control, and coffee trade. Ikawa House continues this tradition of further engaging with growers to help them gain different valuable skill sets. They have developed their own curriculum and certification program on coffee cultivation, processing, and sensory analysis. The training and QC center in Kigali serves and trains partner farmers which, in return, strengthens their economic resilience and improves their product’s quality. Laetitia says “Ikawa House selects their partner coffee washing stations based on their commitment to fair business practices, quality consistency, history, and infrastructure.” Currently, they work with 12
washing stations from all parts of Rwanda.
Nova is a complex dry-processed (natural) coffee. As is common with natural coffees, it has a deep sweetness and layered fruit notes. As is not as common with natural coffees, it has a nice and clean finish. We enjoy Nova most on manual brew
methods such as Kalita and Aeropress. Depending on your brew recipe, you are likely to taste the strawberry jam, notes of milk chocolate, creamy body of milk, fresh strawberry, and underlying lacto-fermentation notes.