Cocatu Cooperative is a group located in the area of Tumba town, in the mountainous Rulindo district, Northern Rwanda. Located at 1820 meters, the coop actually draws coffee from the surrounding hills of 2000+ meters.
Cocatu Cooperative is one of the surviving cooperatives from a time when many were formed but few truly prospered. The problem was not the quality of coffee or effort of the farmer-members—it was the absence of sound business advice to control expenses and raise the working capital to buy coffee cherry in the harvest.
Cocatu has had one great advantage over the last 5 years though: they have had a consistent buyer paying a great price for the coffee.*
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Rwanda Rulindo Cocatu Cooperative, from Craft Coffee in Brooklyn, New York. Feel free to pull up a chair.
origin: Rulindo, Rwanda
farm: Rulindo Washing Station
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Cocatu Cooperative
elevation: 1820 – 2200 meters above sea level
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
The aroma of this Rwanda Rulindo is a beautiful one. Sweet, fragrant, fruity, and bright, with scents of grape, berries, citrus, florals, caramel, and dark chocolate.
Taking my first few sips from my cup immediately post-brew, the flavor matches its aroma. It’s very much a fruit-forward coffee; a tart, lively one at that. It has a medium body and a full, juicy mouthfeel that floods the palate and is filled with flavors of red grape, date, stone fruit, plum (plum and stone fruit giving me a pluot skin note), currant, blackberry jelly, and a piquant grapefruit acidity. That acidity wipes the palate clean, lifting in the back to reveal a lingering finish of dark chocolate malts, caramelized brown sugar, maple, mild bakers spices, and nuances of florals.
Medium body; juicy mouthfeel; tartaric acidity; clean finish.
I’m still not pleased with the fact that Craft Coffee is putting their own coffee in their subscription boxes, but I must say that, as a roaster, they are continuing to improve. And this coffee—their Rwanda Rulindo Cocatu Cooperative—is a great example of their progress.
This was a tasty cupping experience; one that provided a few really pleasurable moments. Its grapefruit acidity was especially dazzling, and it was made all the more dazzling by contrasting with its supporting fruit and heavy sugar flavors.
I was very pleasantly surprised by this cup, since I haven’t had many good experiences with the coffees that were roasted by Craft; but this one could stand side by side with coffees from the other roasters they feature in their boxes.
*content provided by 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.