Sholi Cooperative

"Mutual Assistance"

By: Susan Heller Evenson

Abateraninkunga ba Sholi

Abateraninkunga ba Sholi (“Sholi”) Cooperative, meaning “Mutual Assitance,” is located in Muhanga disctrict, Southern Province, in the center of Rwanda about halfway between Kigali and Lake Kivu. Established in 2008, Sholi has been producing coffee for nearly a decade, and the cooperative’s name speaks to its members working together to improve both their coffee and the greater community.  The cooperative received their Fairtrade certification in 2015 and Rainforest Alliance certification in 2016. This year, in 2017, Atlas is thrilled to be importing Sholi’s inaugural shipment to the U.S.

Nearly half of Sholi’s 334 members are women, including two of the five board members. In 2016, Sholi received a grant to build both a community center and regional health center to serve members and local residents.

With over 400,000 trees already planted, Sholi has continued to invest in its long-term agriculture, planting 18,000 trees in 2016 and 30,000 additional trees by the end of 2017. Coffee processing at Sholi is similar to other coffee cooperatives in Rwanda. After coffee cherries are delivered to the washing station, the coffee is pulped and dry-fermented for ~2 days, then rinsed and soaked for another 24 hours before washing. Wet parchment is hand-picked on covered raised beds before being moved to the drying beds.

Sholi coffees have some of the deepest citrus acidity we’ve seen from the great lakes countries, shining with ruby red grapefruit and juicy blood orange.  Additional layers of mango, orange and dark berry are balanced by honey and finish with lavender.  We’re excited to bring Sholi coffee into our family of offerings from Rwanda, and hope you enjoy it as well!

 

 

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