The 2017 Rwanda crop is just kicking off, and our first arrival is a natural processed bean! We've never had a Rwanda Natural in stock before, so this is pretty exciting. We sampled a honey processed bean from this producer as well, and rejected that one, but the natural turned out amazing.
So Rugali is a washing station on the western side of Rwanda over by Congo. There are 1000 farmers that bring coffee to the washing station. A group called Muraho stepped in and decided to help them up their game. So they separated out only Red Bourbon beans, and dried them on drying beds, and produced this microlot (only 5 bags exist and we bought all 5!).
These natural-processed beans remind me of an Ethiopia in many ways. The taste is sweet, with a high dose of fruitiness (apple, strawberry, orange) but it also has the cocoa flavor that you often find with Rwanda coffee. Overall the body is on the creamy/syrupy side.
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 ... just 20 seconds out of first cracks...are super tart but super complex. You get the most flavors here, and it isn't grassy/vegetal, but it is more tart than I personally care for. A few of the guys at the shop really dig this though. I like it about 20 seconds longer. This sweetens it up...you get more chocolate, less fruit, smooths it out, really easily drinkable at that level. Go another 20 seconds and the fruit disappears altogether and the chocolate turns bitter, but it's still nice! It's just different from the other roasts. Less interesting, perhaps, but nice.
One of the most complex tasting and well sorted offerings we've ever seen out of Rwanda. It won 5 different awards within the country and we are excited to represent them here in the USA.
US Arrival September 2017
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