It has been a number of years since we released coffees from Rwanda. This project is exactly what we have been looking for: smaller separations, localized terroir, and increased quality. In this selection we find more articulated black tea, pushing into Earl Grey, along with citrus, plum, and a hint of spruce.
Gakenke District, Northern Province
Hand sorted for peak ripeness. Floated to further remove defects. Depulped. Dry fermented for 24 hours. Washed in grading channels to separate by density. Soaked for an additional 12 hours. Dried until moisture reaches ~10.5%
This lot is part of a brand new project that is interested in increasing the traceability of Rwandan coffee. The coffee industry in Rwanda has traditionally operated very similarly to that of Ethiopia, with centralized washing stations that buy full cherry from all of the small coffee farms in the area. The coffee is then blended together and sold as coffee from that particular washing station. The Rwandan coffees we are working with have been separated out and are traceable to specific hills. At this point we don't know much about these hills or their unique terroir, but we are unbelievably excited for the learning that has begun.
Varieties in Rwanda are not exactly straightforward. We know that Red Bourbon, Mibirizi, and BM139 (Bourbon Mayaguez 139) are being cultivated; however, we don't know at what relative percentages. Based on the history of production in Rwanda, there is also likely some SL34 being grown as well.
The cost of getting a coffee from cherry to beverage varies enormously depending on its place of origin and the location of its consumption. The inclusion of price transparency is a starting point to inform broader conversation around the true costs of production and the sustainability of specialty coffee as a whole.