Musasa is a co-op in the Gekenke region, which is in the north center of Rwanda, heading up towards Uganda. There are 1000 farmers in the co-op, and 80% are women. They are fair trade and organic certified. They have built schools with their proceeds, as well as donated funds to other co-ops in Rwanda to help them buy coffee processing mills.
These natural-processed beans remind me of an Ethiopia in many ways. The aroma has blueberry and chocolate, and the taste is sweet, with a high dose of fruitiness (banana, blueberry, cherry) but it also has the cocoa flavor that you often find with Rwanda coffee. Overall the body is on the creamy/syrupy side. It's not as clean nor acidic nor as sweet as an Ethiopian coffee, it's more mellow and smooth like a Yemen or Uganda coffee. Easy to drink and delicious.
So we've tried roasting it a few ways. Obviously since it is a natural, you want to keep it out of 2nd cracks or you will burn it. But there's a pretty decent range of possibilities here. The lightest roasts (like a natural Ethiopia) just 20 seconds out of first cracks are the most complex. You get the most fruity flavors here, and it isn't grassy or vegetal. I like it about 20 seconds longer because this smooths it own and brings out more chocolate. Go another 20 seconds and the fruit all but disappears and the chocolate turns bitter, but it's still nice! It's just different from the other roasts. Less interesting, perhaps, but nice, and nicely dialed in for an aeropress or espresso machine.
One of the most complex tasting and well sorted offerings we've ever seen out of Rwanda, and a great cause to support! We are really excited to see the strides Rwanda is making in the specialty coffee world.
US Arrival January 2020
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