We have two incredible lots from Kabirizi, which also come from a new washing station in its first year of operation, this one in Rwanda’s southern province in the district of Nyamagabe. Built and operated by two farmers from the area who wanted more control over the processing to preserve and improve quality, they are now processing cherry from their own 20,000 coffee trees along with cherry from neighboring farmers.*
Lake Kivu is a favorite area in Rwanda among coffee consumers. The climate of the lake and the volcanic soil come together in some magical way to make deep cherry fruit tones in these lovely coffees. An extra bonus for this specific coffee is that it is certified organic and, outside of Ethiopia, there is very little certified African coffees.
COOPAC is a Fair Trade certified cooperative that began with 110 farmers in 2001, and today has over 2,200 members. COOPAC is committed to environmental and social sustainability in addition to producing high quality coffee. Waste by-products created during the coffee washing process are used to as fertilizer rather than discarded into the lake, and shade trees are distributed to farmers to prevent soil erosion. COOPAC has assisted in the construction of a school, health-care clinics, and roads and bridges in the community, and has a program to distribute cows and goats to the most productive farmers. COOPAC also provides farmers with an agricultural advisor to educate the growers about the latest production methods.**
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Rwanda Kabirizi Lot 2, from PERC Coffee in Savannah, Georgia. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Nyamagabe, Rwanda
farm: Rwanda Kabirizi Washing Station
producer: smallholder farmers
elevation: 1600 – 1700 meters above sea level
cultivars: Red Bourbon
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
The aroma of this Rwanda Kabirizi is big, and bursting with scents of dark fruits, citrus, florals, and spices. Raisin, lime, black tea, brown sugar, and caramel.
Diving into the cup, my palate is presented with a big, heavy, full-bodied coffee with a thick, honeyed mouthfeel that coats my tongue. Sugary flavors of raw honey and caramelized brown sugar, coalesced with raisin, fig, black currant, and brighter, more lively fruits such as apricot, nectarine, and a tart lime acidity. Speaking of tart, there’s also a pronounced rhubarb flavor, which reallys stands out from the musty black tea and honey nuances through the finish.
PERC Coffee’s Rwanda Kabirizi featured just about everything you could ask for in a great Rwandan coffee. A voluptuous, full-bodied coffee that is as bright, tart, and vibrant as it is sugary sweet. This is a pretty great offering from PERC Coffee that really showcases how special Rwandan coffees can be.
*content courtesy of PERC Coffee
**content courtesy of Cafe Imports
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.