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Mr Higgins Recommends - Rwanda Women's Cooperative

2022 marks 80 years of H. R. Higgins (Coffee-Man) Ltd. Founded in 1942 by Harold Rees Higgins, an ambitious grocer who had an extraordinary passion for coffee, the heart of our business has always been to bring the best that the world of coffee has to offer to our customers.

As we commemorate this incredible milestone in our history, we wanted to build on that legacy of quality and innovation so to kick off our 80th Birthday Celebrations, we are beyond excited introduce a brand new coffee for International Womens’ Day, Rwandan Women’s Cooperative.

This special coffee is not only of outstanding quality, but is farmed entirely by women.


Championing women within the coffee industry has always been important to us. Women have played a pivot role in the history of H. R. Higgins, since opening our doors in 1942.

“Our support for women within the coffee industry stems back to the very beginnings of our business. My late Aunt, Miss Audrey joined the coffee industry aged 16. She was the first employee of H. R. Higgins, helping my grandfather roast and pack coffee in the dark years of the war and she remained an integral member of the team for many, many years.

Today, H. R. Higgins are proud to have a team of incredible women supporting the business. From our Creative Director, fashion and textile designer Ann Louise Roswald, to our shop manager Preethi, and all of the wonderful ladies who work behind the scenes to provide the best possible service to our customers.”

David Higgins

About Rwandan Women’s Cooperative

The Cooperative Coffee Rusiga Sector who grow this coffee is a collection of small farms owned solely by women. Though some of the women’s male relatives work on the farms, the women have taken over the ownership of the land.

85% of the farms in this cooperative are at 2,000m above sea level or higher. As well as the coffee, the farms also produce an incredibly diverse crop including legumes, sweet potatoes and beans, all of which are grown between the coffee trees. This allows the farms to generate an income all year round as well as growing food for their own consumption. The farms withins the cooperative are typically very small family plots, growing coffee and 5 or 6 other crops throughout a yearly cycle.

The support that these small holder farmers rely on has flourished under this cooperative structure. So much so that this format is now used as an example to help if an individual farm is struggling.

The Cooperative was formed with help from the Kinini Project, who work with displaced women and young people in the rural Rulindo District of Rwanda in partnership with “A New Beginning”. By developing education and health care, they have been able to help the community to become self-sufficient, using coffee farming to generate income and create economic stability in the area.

The Coffee

This is a washed coffee, though the process in this area of Africa differs from what we would usually recognise in other parts of the world. Fully washed suggests the process of pulping the coffee and allowing a dry fermentation period of 24 hours before undergoing a more traditional wet fermentation including soaking the coffee for a further 24 hours. This is more in line with the processing traditions of Kenyan and other East African coffees. Processing the coffee this way results in a coffee with a syrupy body which ages particularly well – it is not uncommon for a Rwandan coffee to still produce a great flavour up to 18 months on if stored correctly.

 

This coffee is a light roast, allowing for the fruity flavours of Blackcurrant, Gooseberry, and Lime to shine through and notes of Black Tea in the background with a rich, syrupy body and mouthfeel.

Because of its quality, we recommend enjoying this Rwandan Coffee for Filter. Use 18g of finely ground coffee per 250ml of water. Or for cafetiere, use one heaped teaspoon of ground coffee per person. Best served black.

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Mr Higgins Recommends - 1942 Blend

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Mr Higgins Recommends - Rwanda Women's Cooperative

Celebrating 80 Years of the Coffee Man with something new for International Women’s Day.

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