Sweet peach and fresh lemons melt into creamy milk chocolate in this Northern Rwandan treat.
Producer: Iyongera Musaruro Co-operative
Region: Rulindo District, Northern Province, Rwanda
Cultivar: Red Bourbon
Process: Fully Washed
Altitude: 1770m asl
The Bushoki washing station nestles in the soaring highlands of Rulindo District, the most mountainous region in Rwanda. The station was built in 2006 by the Iyongera Musaruro Co-operative, and collects cherries from over 800 smallholders in the surrounding area.
The micro-climate of the fertile valley around Bushoki, with ample rainfall and rich reserves of groundwater, allows the station to process its coffee similarly to Rwanda's neighbour Kenya. One distinct feature of this style (not commonly carried out in Latin America) is to soak wet parchment coffee for up to a day after fermentation is finished, before being dried on raised beds. Whilst the origins of this add-on to the washed process is not clear, what is known, thanks to research in Kenya during the 1960s, is that some bitter compounds are removed from the coffee in this final stage, allowing for sweetness and acidity to shine through with clarity and class in the cup. This taste balance is part of what makes the best Rwandan coffees so special.