We never made it a secret we are partial to African coffees, and we certainly loved this Rwanda that Limini Coffee sent us. Limini had used this coffee in a blend at the UKBC.
Rwandese coffee is relatively new on the specialty coffee market. Much of the current stock was planted as UN economic aid after the bloody civil wars of the 1990s. Its success is a combination of fertile soil, altitude, an excellent choice of cultivar, and careful processing.
All that shows in this coffee. The flavours of this Rwandese Bourbon are beautifully layered. There is a ground level of what can be described as bakers chocolate (single origin criollo), or perhaps just “typically coffee”. Stacked upon that are toasty notes, and a berry-like (redcurrant?) fruity note. Hiding in the background is a subtle vanilla.
Brewed as espresso, the cup has a honey/syrupy quality that lasts a long time. Although there is some wine-like acidity, it adds to the cup. We very much appreciate the combination, and dynamics of flavours. The berry going citrusy as the cup cools, with the initially subdued vanilla note getting stronger.
This is a coffee that does well as drip coffee, and at a pinch in a vacuum brewer, but the muddy brew of a cafetiere doesn’t become this exceptional coffee.
For espresso, we prefer the Rwanda brewed at a slightly higher temperature, ca. 93-94°C. For a better appreciation of the complex flavours, we recommend dilluting the shot with few drops of hot water.
Aroma: berry, chocolate, “coffee”, vanilla
Flavour: berry/redcurrant, criollo chocolate, “coffee”, vanilla
Body: syrupy mouthfeel
Acidity: medium high, enjoyable red wine tannins
Aftertaste: fairly long, with recurring redcurrant and chocolate