Kigeyo is one of the COOPAC cooperative’s washing station, located in the Rutsiro District on the shore of Lake Kivu. Cooperative member farmers grow their coffee using organic practices, and deliver their coffee cherry to the Kigeyo wetmill, where Emanuel Habizegato oversees coffee processing with an eye for exacting, and repeatable quality. Kigeyo ferments its farmers’ coffee twice before washing, first dry, then wet, and dries its coffee slowly on raised beds. This process, combined with 100% Bourbon-variety coffee and high growing altitudes of 1800-2000 meters above sea level, contributes to Kigeyo’s spectacular flavors.
Beyond Kigeyo’s great flavors, we’re excited to support the COOPAC cooperative in its progressive quality and development work. Until recently, it was difficult to find any organically-grown* coffees from Rwanda. COOPAC is one of the first organic cooperatives in the country, and has provided assistance for its farmers to make the transition from conventional to organic growing practices. Additionally, the cooperative makes a point to distribute some of its earnings to growers in the form of non-coffee farming assistance and educational support for farmers’ families. We love the coffee, and love showcasing the hard work of a great organization.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Rwanda Kigeyo, from Huckleberry Roasters in Denver, Colorado. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Rutsiro, Kivu, Rwanda
farm: Kigeyo Washing Station
producer: smallholder farmers
association: COOPAC Cooperative
elevation: 1800 – 2000 meters above sea level
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
The aroma of the Rwanda Kigeyo is enormous, and it absolutely booms out of the cup, filling the entire airspace with big scents of cocoa, honey, and bright tropical fruits.
Taking my first few sips of the cup immediately post-brew, my palate is greeted by a big, full-bodied coffee with a supple mouthfeel. Wonderful flavors of honeyed dark cocoa powder spread over the palate like a thick blanket, kicking up flavors of black walnut cake and brown sugar. There are also some dried fruit flavors happening here up front (raisin and cranberry) and zesty/sweet candied orange rind.
As the cup cools off, it begins to taste much more like sangria than coffee. Coupled with the orange rind from up front, these cranberry, black cherry, red grape acidity, banana, plum, and red wine tannin notes that I’m now picking up are making for a wonderfully winy mouthfeel that ends with a crisp, clean finish.
Full body; winy mouthfeel; grape acidity; clean finish.
I’m just going to say it right up front and get it out of the way: Huckleberry Roasters’s Rwanda Kigeyo is an unbelievably delicious coffee.
From the very first sip, the Kigeyo was absolutely brilliant; a gorgeously supple winy texture and the unbelievably bright sweetness of honeyed tropical fruits delighted and excited the taste buds all the way through.
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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.