two coffees from rwanda and burundi. .
Clubs of America | May 17, 2017
RWANDA INTORE — AMERICAN ROAST —
Each year, the Rwanda Trading Company creates a blend of coffees from the top-cupping washing stations from their partners in various regions in Rwanda. We call it the Rwanda Intore, which means “the chosen one” in the native tongue of Kinyarwanda. Full of body and complex sweet citrus flavors, the Intore blend truly represents the best of what this small country has to offer.
Grown in various regions throughout Rwanda, all these beans have been harvested from trees grown at an altitude between 1616 and 2200 meters above sea level. They are all high quality Arabicas of the Bourbon lineage. This fine coffee is a blend of the finest crops from eight different washing stations, six of which have between 400 and 520 farmers contributing.
The other two are larger and are notable award winners. The Simbi Washing Station in the Southern Province is made up of a force of 1475 farmers, and in 2013 won the Rwanda Cup of Excellence Top 10 Award. With 1500 farmers contributing, the Mahembe Washing Station was awarded both the 2012 and the 2014 Rwanda Cup of Excellence Top 5 Award.
What can you expect flavor-wise? This round, full-bodied American Roast offers bright citrus flavors of tangerine, orange and grapefruit. Aromas of malt and caramel will be prevalent in the air wafting from each steaming cup. Nuances of graham crackers are an unexpected bonus. Enjoy!
BURUNDI KALICO — VIENNA ROAST —
The Republic of Burundi is located in Central Africa, squeezed in between Rwanda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. A landlocked country covering 10,745 square miles, its topography is dominated by hills and mountains. Burundi has the ideal coffee-growing conditions. Cherries can develop properly because of the stable and relatively low temperatures on the plains, and the distinct seasons allow for a proper blossoming of the plants and a good drying of the beans. The coffee plants flower in the months of October and November. The main harvest is in the months of February and March. The secondary harvest is in April and May.
The first Arabica coffee tree was introduced into Burundi by the Belgians in the early 1930’s, and coffee cultivation has been growing ever since. From 1980 to 1993, Burundi invested heavily in the coffee subsector with assistance from the World Bank, launching an ambitious program of coffee washing station construction and tree planting. The number of coffee trees increased from 90 million to over 220 million. They constructed and equipped 133 strategically placed washing stations capable of producing a consistent supply of fully washed coffee. That number now stands at 160.
In the mid-2000’s, after more than a decade of civil strife, Burundi returned to the development of its coffee industry, giving rise to its coffee production by investing in producing higher quality coffee, and building stronger ties with the international market. Today, coffee is the main agricultural resource and makes up more than 80% of the country’s overall export revenues.
Due to privatization, growers have become more organized, and the specialty coffee market offers Burundi an important opportunity to produce smaller, high value lots of coffee with distinct flavor profiles, such as this Kalico selection. This mix consists of coffee from the hills of five regions in the Kirundo province. Because some fantastic lots were too small to buy and ship individually, they were mixed in to showcase the great traits of such a joint effort.
What’s the sum of one great coffee, plus another great coffee? It’s very different, even more intense than the individual lots can offer. This Kalico proudly offers acidic fruitiness and sweetness. It has great depth, with ripe blackberry overtones and a light citrus undercurrent to brighten the palate. The aftertaste is long and sweet – cup after cup.