The next two weeks are going to be insanely busy, here at the Table, with all sorts of reviews, features, and interviews. I just returned from an extended weekend road trip to Nashville, Tennessee and came back with a few bags of coffee to review from four cafes (which I’ll also be reviewing). There’s seven posts right there. I’m also going to be reviewing some coffees that were sent to me from New York City’s 40 Weight Coffee that I’m really excited about.
There’s an awful, awful lot to do at the Table for the next couple of weeks, so make yourself comfortable, and feel free to pull up a chair.
This is a new offering from Ritual Coffee Roasters. This Rwanda comes to us from the Abakundakawa Cooperative in the Gankenke district in the northern part of the country. The cooperative was formed in 2004. Besides being incredibly fun to say out loud, Abakundakawa currently boasts a producing membership in the thousands. More impressively, in a continent that isn’t really known for equal rights for or even friendliness to women, Abakundakawa promotes the efforts of its’ female farmers, who comprise 40% of the coop.
Of the current 1,760 members of Abakundakawa Coop, 720 are women. Seventy women make up the Duhingekawa women’s group – which means “let us grow coffee” in Kinyarwanda. The women who are in the Abakundakawa group are women heads of household – that means their husbands were mostly killed at the time of the genocide in the mid-1990’s. They are looking after their own children, but often they are also looking after orphans from families of relatives, and even of non-relatives, where both parents were killed. They have formed a group within Abakundakawa.
Origins: Gankenke, Rwanda
Farms: Abakunda Kawa Cooperative
Elevation: 1700-1900 meters above sea level
Process: washed, raised bed dried
The aroma of this coffee is incredibly unique. The description on the bag says that it has the aroma of toasted marshmallows, but I’m going to take that a couple steps further – this coffee has the aroma of s’mores. Toasted marshmallows – definitely; but also notes of dark chocolate and heavy scents of graham cracker. This is the very first time I’ve used that term to describe a coffee in any sense – “s’mores.” However, that is a completely accurate description.
The flavor is every bit as unique as its aroma. It starts out creamy and chocolaty immediately post brew, with very pleasant nuances of brown sugar. There are some nice fruit notes in there as well – like peaches and strawberries and cream. As it cools, a lot more candied and citrus flavors emerge. There’s a really nice orange cream soda tinge to this coffee, but I’m more impressed with the grapefruit acidity – while many coffees that have “grapefruit acidity” are tart, this coffee’s acidity is actually markedly milder; sweet even.
Smooth, clean finish; mild, grapefruit acidity; full body.
the bottom line:
Ritual Coffee Roasters’ Sweet Tooth Abakunda Kawa, Rwanda couldn’t possibly be named any better – “Sweet Tooth” – because this coffee will satisfy any consumer with a sweet tooth. From its s’mores aroma to its candied flavor notes, this is one sweet cup of coffee. Check it out on Ritual’s website; or, if you’re a Chicagoan, head over to The Wormhole to get yourself a cup before it’s all gone!
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