Coffee: Kanzu Rwanda
Roaster: Coptic Light
Producer/Farm: Kanzu Washing Station
Origin/Region: Rwanda/Western Province, Nyamasheke District
Altitude: 1800-2100 masl
Dry Fragrance: fresh spices, caramel, vanilla, baked apple and herbs
Tasting Notes: This coffee has a soft citric acidity that is in perfect balance with vanilla/honey sweetness. Flavor notes of fig, floral aromatics and vanilla are primary but I also tasted maple, toffee, almonds, cooked peaches and shortbread cookie. As it cools a juicy sweetness lingers with flavors of mulled cherries. The aftertaste was softly bitter, reminiscent of plum skin, and the silky mouthfeel was stunning. The delicacy and balance of this coffee is a hallmark of Coptic Light’s approach to roasting. Kudos.
Roaster’s notes: We always get excited in the fall for the arrival of fresh crop Rwanda coffees, and this year we present yet another beautiful lot from the Kanzu washing station located in the Nyamasheke district of the Western Province. After the devastation of the civil war and genocide in the 1990s, Rwanda was the focus of a series of development projects designed to rebuild its agricultural sector, beginning with the PEARL Project in 2001 and continuing with SPREAD until 2012. Both funded by USAID and US universities, a large emphasis was placed on the coffee industry - building washing stations, forming cooperatives, and training agronomists, cuppers and quality control personnel. In 2012, the reputable exporting company Dormans took over the Kanzu washing station and continued the focused support on infrastructure and technical support. Kanzu currently employs fifty local men and women and is a small, well-run jewel of a factory set against the green hills of coffee, cassava, sweet potato, sugarcane, bananas, and beans, which borders the Nyungwe Forest National Park. Due to its unique location, cool cloud cover often drifts over Kanzu, which not only makes for beautiful light but exceptional coffee-growing conditions as well.
Additional Growing Information: 16-18 hour dry fermentation & 18 hour wet fermentation. Wastewater was treated with Effective Microorganisms (EMTechnologies) to secure local water resources for the nearby community. This year's lot was dried on raised beds under a new experimental parabolic apparatus. This is very different than the normal drying procedure of long, single mesh beds in the open air but instead consists of three beds built vertically that reach nearly 10 feet tall.
Brew recommendations: I brewed this coffee on Origami with Kalita and V60 filters, and V60 with a V60 filter, as well as on Kalita with a Kalita filter. My V60 brew gave a fruity and brighter profile while the Kalita brew was more rounded with maple sweetness and raisin notes. The Origami with V60 filter was the most well balanced profile and was my personal favorite. As usual I employed my typical pour-over protocol which is posted here.
Coffee: Disco Marmalade – Kirite
Roaster: Luna Coffee
Producer/Farm: Kirite community
Altitude: not specified
Tasting Notes: Like pretty jewels, raspberry and purple fruits predominate in this lightly bright coffee with floral aftertaste. The soft lemon acidity and buttery mouthfeel will take you by surprise. The sweetness of toffee and maple is counterbalanced by a mild cranberry tartness and soft notes of black tea. It’s a complex coffee that offers layered flavors as it cools.
Roaster’s notes: This washed processed landrace lot is grown by smallholders associated with the Kirite community in Guji, Ethiopia. METAD’s Hambela estate processes the fruit by depulping, and fermenting the remaining bits of fruit off the seeds by submerging in water tanks, visually reminiscent of a vat of sparkling kombucha. This lot is from outgrower communities that work with METAD, who have a remarkable history as a company, producer and exporter in Ethiopia. Read more.
Brew recommendations: There’s a lot to offer here and it’s worth your time to try different brewers and ratios to reveal all it has to offer. My preferred brew was on the Origami dripper with a V60 filter for a total brew time of 3:30-3:45. As usual I employed my typical pour-over protocol which is posted here.