This Kinini Natural is something of a rarity for a coffee from Rwanda. Traditionally, Rwanda produces washed, bourbon varietal coffee which usually has rounded body and soft, floral sweetness. This...
This Kinini Natural is something of a rarity for a coffee from Rwanda. Traditionally, Rwanda produces washed, bourbon varietal coffee which usually has rounded body and soft, floral sweetness. This Natural, however intensifies that sweetness and gives a more juicy body. We often have both the washed and natural in stock so it's interesting to taste these side by side to see what we mean.
After setting up a school and a health centre, the Kinini Washing Station started growing coffee in 2012, partnering with 633 local farmers, each with an average plot of about 0.5 hectares.
Although many of these farmers had previous agricultural experience, growing cash crops was new to most of them, never mind a complex crop like speciality coffee. However, with the on-going support and education of the Kinini washing station the group are producing extremely high quality coffee.
As well as the school and health centre, a road has been built for farmers to get their cherries to the processing plant quickly which improves cup quality significantly. The washing station is located next to a stream, providing fresh water for drinking but also for processing the coffee which aids clean flavour. There is an onsite cupping lab with sample roasters where the farmers can taste the difference between a good crop or bad crop, they also have 3 full time agronomists which work all year round with the producers educating them on best practices.
The variety, Bourbon, is one that often finds its way into our roastery, Bourbon 139 is a sub-strain that does well in this area and has a medium yield but high quality cup. Once ripe cherries are hand-picked and quickly delivered to the washing station they are laid out to dry in the sun on raised beds where they are also sorted.
We have urged Malcolm and Jackie to produce a natural version of their beautiful coffee since we first met them a few of years ago and, after Jackie asked a friend for some tips, this is their first attempt, and it’s amazing! The sweetness is even more intense than the washed version and the acidity is bright and zesty with notes of pomegranate, lime, and milk chocolate with an exceptionally clean quality, which is amazing for their first ever Kinini Natural!