I have discovered that there is a lot of really bad Rwandan coffee on the market and very little of it is organic or grown with social ethics. But this one hits all the checkmarks. Great complexity and fruit notes in lighter roasts, no earthiness, organic certified, women-produced, former cup of excellence winner, and socially responsible.
This lot comes from Southern Rwanda in Muhanga, by the Sholi Cooperative. It's been around since 2008. It has grown to 300+ members as their motto is "mutual assistance" and they encourage farmers with similar values to join their co-op.
The beans are well sorted with few defects. Out of about a dozen Rwanda coffees that we have sampled so far this season, this is our favorite. Not only is it a former cup-of-excellence winner, but it is Fair Trade certified and Rain Forest Alliance certified as well.
It has a nice full body to it, and a sweet juicy fruity flavor. Don't overroast it, as it loses all of its charm quickly. You want to keep it out of 2nd cracks, but actually, you want it about 30 seconds before they even start. It has a peachy, apricot note to it, some citrus, a sparkling acidity, orange juice, and clean aftertaste. It's a little bit picky about roast level -- a lighter roast brings out a grassy, under-roasted flavor, and if you take it too close to 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.
US Arrival December 2018
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