I have discovered that there is a lot of really bad Rwandan coffee on the market and very little of it is organic. 20 years ago, Rwanda was a coffee leader, and then civil wars and strife all but ended their coffee industry. About 5 years ago, coffee started flowing out again, but quite a bit of it was undesirable. And still today, you’ve probably tried a Rwanda coffee that scared you away. Dirty aftertastes, no aftertastes, high acidity, thin bodies, unpleasant undertones, just to name a few… But this one is fantastic. This is our second year of buying it.
This one is well sorted with few defects. It is a former cup-of-excellence winner. It comes from a co-op of well-paid farmers. And it had a chocolate aroma that lures you in, an enjoyable smoothness, and hints of exotic fruits like coconut and passionfruit.
This coffee is produced by 20,000 small coffee farmers where the majority of the farmers only have around about 200 trees each to look after (essentially it is families growing coffee in their backyard as a way to bring in a little extra money). Because of this, the coffee plants are well loved, carefully tended to, picked at exactly the right time, and sorted very well. The coffee production in Rwanda has seen exponential growth, benefiting the countr'y economic well being. Due to the popularity and quality of this coffee, over the last several years the price paid directly to the farmers has significantly increased. The coffee came into the US in November 2015.
It has a nice full body to it, and a sweet clean aftertaste. It has a beautiful chocolate undertone and is smooth and sweet. It really is a treat to drink from start to finish. I would be pretty specific about stopping the roast just before the 2nd cracks. A lighter roast brings out a grassy, under-roasted flavor, and if you take it into the 2nd cracks it starts tasting a little bitter and over roasted. The exception to this is espresso. This bean makes a great espresso or espresso component when you take it 20 seconds into the 2nd cracks.