Red cherry with a clean and balanced finish. A little like a red wine gum, sweet and mouth watering.
Mill: Kilimbi Washing Station
Producer: 8 small holder lots from the Kilimbi sector
Region: Gitsimbwe, Nyamasheke
Drying: Dried on raised beds over 30 days
Rwanda is well known for the production of high-quality washed process coffees. The washing station design and the general nature of processing lend well to produce very clean and homogeneous coffees. Combined with the the dedicated and thorough washing practices of Muraho Trading Company, the outcome is some of the best speciality coffee to come out of Rwanda.
All cherry is hand sorted before a pre-pulp float, where under-ripe or damaged cherry is removed, along with any foreign objects. Cherry is then floated in pre-pulping tanks removing any floaters, and then pulped. The next step is fermentation in dedicated tanks for approximately 8 hours, during which time the ferment parchment is agitated several times by the way of a ceremonial foot stomping.
After fermentation, coffee is released into a large serpentine grading channel. This is a moving channel of water that allows any floaters or foreign objects to float off and be discarded. This process also separates parchment into different density grades. The highest density class, A1, is trapped by submerged gates early on in the serpentine, where lower density coffee is allowed to pass through. Eventually, we end up with three grades A1 and A2, which sell as speciality coffee, and A3/A4 which usually sell into the commercial market. There is no difference between the A1 and A2 grades, only density.
During the washing process, parchment is continuously agitated to encourage lower density parchment to float and to clean any residual mucilage off the parchment. Once the parchment is separated into grades, it is given a final post wash rinse. At this point, coffee is then taken to a pre-drying area where the parchment is hand-sorted removing any insect damaged, discoloured or chipped coffee. Finally, parchment is laid out to dry and turned on a regular basis throughout the day.
How does processing affect flavour ?
One of the most frequent questions I get asked is what significance the various processing methods have on the flavour in the cup. Of course I normally respond with the 'typically...' answers about washed coffees being clean and having a clarity of flavour, with a lighter body, whereas naturals being heavier and syrupy sweet without the clarity. BUT the only way to really know is to have them side by side in a cup and taste them. Luckily with this Kilimbi coffee you can do just that. I was fortunate enough to source both the natural and the washed process coffees from our partners Raw Material Coffee and they're both available for a limited time (until they run out). Try it and see.