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Best of Rwanda 2024: Celebrating Excellence in Rwandan Coffee

The National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) with partners initiated a coffee competition dubbed, “The Best of Rwanda”. The competition aims to showcase and promote first-class Rwandan coffee and motivate farmers and Coffee Washing Stations (CWS) to boost their quality.

Sherri Johns, the head judge and an independent coffee consultant with over 40 years of experience in specialty coffee from the United States, stressed the importance of such events in recognising and promoting quality and motivating farmers.

Farmers and CWS were encouraged to submit their best coffee samples, from which a total of 297 samples were obtained, complying with the regulation that each CWS was allowed to provide only two entries, and paving the way to a careful selection of their highest quality beans.

The judging process was thorough and anonymous, ensuring unbiased results, starting with 297 samples, which then narrowed down to 123 top-scoring samples.

The scores were based on attributes such as taste, aroma, flavour, acidity, body, balance, finish, and complexity, much like wine scoring, highlighting that the samples were evaluated without revealing the names of the CWS to maintain objectivity.

The national jurors, consisting of professional-level cuppers, primarily assessed the samples, and after multiple rounds of blind taste tests, they reduced the entries from 297 to 123, then to 40. Finally, the top 40 lots were evaluated by 14 international jurors from around the world (including two Rwandan jurors).

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