Rwanda Mutovu is a newer cooperative, established in 2012 in the Nyamasheke area of Western Rwanda. It is in an ideal area with rich soils and not much competition for coffee cherry from farmers. Another mill we buy from, Kanzu, is one of the nearest competing coffee mills. Mutovu is at 1800 meters, with coffee being grown in the area up to 1950 meters.
Rwanda Mutovu is a made up of a small cooperative of 9 farmers, each with between 1,500 – 5,000 coffee trees. Each farmer supplies their own cherries to the station, as well as collects cherries from their neighbors. The location of Rwanda Mutovu and ownership structure has made it an instant success. 2012 was it’s first season of production, yet it was able to produce 20 tons of parchment that has consistently cupped very well. We see a bright future for the farmers at Mutovu coffee station.*
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Rwanda Mutovu, from Craft Coffee in Brooklyn, New York. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Nyamasheke, Rwanda
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Rwanda Mutovu Cooperative
elevation: 1800 – 1950 meters above sea level
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
The aroma of the Rwanda Mutovo is pungent. Immediately upon ripping open the packaging, it bursts out of it with authority. Massive scents of butterscotch and cherry cola invade my brewing space. Mingled in are nuances of cinnamon, clove, and allspice.
The flavor follows the nose, as my palate is greeted by a full-bodied coffee that possesses a chewy, velvety mouthfeel. For such a full-bodied coffee, though, it has a tart fruited brightness that bites at the tongue and tantalizes the taste buds, even in the early stages of my cupping – green grape, citrus, rhubarb pie… Underneath those bright fruit notes are those denser flavors of caramel, vanilla cream ale, and cinnamon. The cooling cup sees flavors of stone fruit, grape, and apple, fading into chocolate malt and lingering tea-like tannins. Bergamot, citrus, and Earl Grey tea also emerge rounding out an already beautiful cup.
Of all the coffees Craft Coffee has inserted into their own subscription boxes, their Rwanda Mutovu was, by far, the best.
This coffee had a lot of depth, and packed a whole lot of flavor. It was a full-bodied coffee that was sugary sweet, spicy, and herbal; I was most impressed, though, with the prevalence of its bright, tart, and effervescent fruit notes. I was expecting the coffee to be fruity, but I was expecting it to be reminiscent of dark, dried fruits – red grape, raisin, date, plum… I didn’t get those notes at all.
Very impressive, Craft Coffee. You knocked it out of the park with this one.
*content courtesy of Coffee Shrub
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.