Musasa is in Gakenke zone, north Rwanda. A sweet cup with candy-like aroma, saltwater taffy, caramel and vanilla, caramelized sugars, cherry hard-candy notes, violet floral notes, tangerine/mandarin citrus. The medium body has a silky mouthfeel, very refined and elegant overall. City roast is ideal.
Musasa is a town in the Gakenke district of northern Rwanda. The mill that processes the coffee is called Dukunde Kawa Musasa. The cooperative has over 2000 members, but when you realize that in Rwanda each farmer has less than 200 trees (they don't even talk in terms of hecatres or acres), this is not huge. Dukunde Kawa did well in the 2010 Cup of Excellence, winning 2nd place with a score of 90.08 and 7th place with 88.16! Congratulations! The mill is at 2000 meters, with coffee grown at 1500-2000 meters at most. This means fairly cool fermentation temperatures when performing the wet process on the coffee, and long fermentation times. This, along with the careful cherry sorting before and after picking from the tree, and the Bourbon cultivar, greatly influences the Rwanda flavor profile. It's a coffee that has great classic character, sharing some aspects with Bourbon type coffees from Central America. The bean is dense; the flavors exist in a compact range, classic bittersweet balance, and a joy to roast. This was a very late lot with Fair Trade certificate, offered by the Rwanda Coffee Authority, OCIR, but arrived in great condition. We repackaged it in Grainpro to ensure freshness as well with this nice lot.
The cup is classic Rwanda. Dry fragrance ranges from floral and sweet (violets) to a more bittersweet chocolate from light to darker roast levels. I was really impressed with the sweet accents at the lighter ranges, and the wet aroma is very candy-like, saltwater taffy, caramel and vanilla, at City+ roast level. The cup follows suit; very sweet, caramelized sugars, cherry hard-candy notes, violet floral notes at the lightest roasts as well as tangerine/mandarin citrus. It's a cup that works well all along the roast spectrum, but I was so amazed by the lightest roast level (with 3 days rest after roasting, by the way) I must recommend keeping it as light as you can. The medium body has a silky mouthfeel, very refined and elegant overall.