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The growing demand for premium coffee has had a positive impact on many small farmers. Uwera Gema, a 60-year-old farmer in southern Rwanda, used the extra income to send her six children to school. Her family owns 700 coffee trees and produced one ton of coffee cherries in 2011.
Laetitia Mukandahiro, 28, rose from being a coffee farmer's daughter in Gankenke, a small village in northern Rwanda, to one of Rwanda's most sought-after cuppers. She is now Head of Quality Control for KZ Noir. Kayonza, Rwanda.
Rwanda was the first African country to hold the "Cup of Excellence", one of the world's most prestigeous specialty coffee competitions, in 2008. Now in it's 4th year in Rwanda, Liana Ishinwe, 25, scores coffee for the Cup of Excellence Pre-Trials. Kayonza, Rwanda.
Coffee being ground for the Cup of Excellence Pre-Trials, Kayonza, Rwanda.
During cupping sessions, judges loudly slurp coffee and spit it out into bins. Kayonza, Rwanda.
In the street Mohammed Mahmoud, after the end of the confrontations between police and demonstrators, this young man sells some Cotton candy.
Mohammed Mahmoud Street
Cairo - Egypt
Sorting the beans for quality is mostly done by women, who earn about $1.25 per day. Musasa Coffee Cooperative, northern Rwanda.
Women sort parchment at Musasa Coffee Cooperative, northern Rwanda.
Women carry parchment to the drying tables for sorting at Cyarumba Washing Station, Maraba, southern Rwanda.
Built in 2000 as one of the first new coffee washing stations in Rwanda in decades, Cyarumba Washing Station, in Maraba, southern Rwanda, is famous for producing Rwanda's first local brand of specialty coffee, Cafe de Maraba.
Uzziel's scorecard. Specialty coffee must score above 80 points in a wide range of categories such as body, acidity and flavor.
A worker sifts through wet parchment after de-pulping at Nyarusiza Coffee Washing Station in southern Rwanda.
Fresh cherries are depulped to separate the seeds/parchment from the soft flesh. For premium coffee, cherries must be depulped quickly after they are picked or they will become bitter.
Coffee cherries are loaded onto a scale at Nyarusiza Coffee Washing Station in southern Rwanda. Depending on the season, farmers receive 300-350 RWF (~$.50) per Kilo of cherries for specialty coffee. Previously, they received only 150 RWF per Kilo for ordinary coffee parchment- which is more labor-intenstive. 1 Kilo of parchment roughly equals 7 Kilos of cherries.
Dozens of coffee buyers from around the world visit Musasa Coffee Cooperative in Rwanda, hoping to source the next best brew. Jonathan Kalan, Rwanda.
After the genocide in 1994, Rwanda's coffee industry privatized, and the farmers learned to produce premium coffee. Now their beans are sought by coffee buyers and gurus around the world. Here, Sarah Kluth, a buyer from Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea in the U.S., visits a washing station in western Rwanda.
Stephen Vick, a buyer from Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, shows off his tattoos of coffee cherries to locals in a coffee-growing town Western Rwanda.
Coffee parchment after being de-pulped and fully-washed, an essential process which helps separate 'specialty' coffee from Ordinary coffee.
A woman sorts coffee parchment at Nyabumera Washing Station, Western Rwanda.
Dozens of coffee buyers from around the world visit Musasa Coffee Cooperative in Rwanda, hoping to source the next best brew.
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Jonathan Kalan, Rwanda.
Business on the side of demonstrations in Egypt
M. A. Photo: After several cars ran protesters down on the streets, people attacked gas stations.