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Our Head of coffee
"This coffee displays the traditional taste and flavour profile of Rwandan coffee of blueberry with bright acidity and juicy mouthfeel but in this case the result of the natural process is to intensify the sweetness into a more jammy profile which balances perfectly that sharp acidity. The flavour profile increases in complexity; there is a delicious black cherry flavour which lingers into a dark chocolate aftertaste."
Our Micro lot coffees are always just that. Sometimes the farm is only small, sometimes it’s because we’re working with a new farmer, but this one is different. As a coffee producer Rwanda is small, (relatively) new and giving it their all, so we’re proud to support them. This year we’ve imported 320 sacks of exceptional Rwandan coffee and, amongst those 320, we have something really special. Last year we exported some of the first, naturally-processed Rwandan coffee ever and your response was amazing so this year, we bought just a little more. Processing in this way can’t be scaled quickly so we still only have a small amount of it - please enjoy it whilst it’s here!
Rwandan coffee tends to grow on small, high-altitude plots with rich soil that results in delicious purple fruit characteristics of ripe blackcurrants, blackberry and blueberry. These ideal coffee-growing conditions mean that Rwandan coffee is fast-becoming a big part of their economy. So, for a while, to safeguard the reputation of Rwandan coffee, the government banned the export of any coffee that hadn’t been through the washing process. But now that natural coffee is coming into its own and the industry has evolved, natural coffee is being allowed out of the country again.
And I have to say this is an extraordinary example of how the natural process should be used to enhance the characteristics of a coffee. What we find this year is an extension of those black cherry and blackcurrant flavours into a rich dark chocolate aftertaste and almost brownie-like rich sticky texture.
The Kigoma area is home to a number of small farms, which make up the cooperative that produces this special coffee. Kigoma can be found in the Nyamagabe District, in the Southern Province of Rwanda. Thanks to Rwanda’s climate, altitude and mineral-rich soil, it’s known for producing really high quality coffee.
The Codukaki Cooperative in Kigoma is made up of 80 coffee farmers, including 39 women coffee farmers. The leader is called Mukasarabwe Madelene. Madelene and the other members of this cooperative started out very small, growing a small number of coffee trees and building from there. Thanks to their hard work they are now at a level where coffee has educated Madelene’s five children, built them a nice house to live in and enabled them to buy some livestock. She’s also now invested in coffee bikes, which have allowed her to decrease the cost of transporting her coffee.
Once the cooperative have grown their coffee they process it at the Remera coffee washing station, which is run by Bufcoffee Ltd., a famous Rwandan, family-run company. Bufcoffee Ltd. was founded by Mukashyaka Epiphanie in 2003.
Originally Epiphanie’s husband had a coffee farm of his own and their coffee was sold locally. Then the 1994 genocide left Mukashyaka a widow with seven children to care for, so she had to make a change. She soon got support from PEARL and launched Bufcoffee Ltd., which now produces and exports coffee across the world, whilst offering social and economic support to 4,608 women, their families and a great many small coffee farmers.
|FLAVOUR||Black cherry and dark chocolate|
|TASTING NOTE||Black cherry and dark chocolate|