Kanzu starts and finishes with impressive sweetness, a dense honey flavor, dry spice notes, red raisin, hazelnut syrup, and subtle floral lemon. Medium roasts showed characteristics with layered chocolate torte. Versatile. City to Full City+.
Kanzu is from the southwest area of Lake Kivu in the Nyamasheke district in Rwanda. This is one example where the beauty of the area seems to correlate to the beauty of the coffee itself. Kanzu is tucked away in a valley surrounded by mountain peaks. The physical processing of Kanzu remains fairly consistent. Coffee cherry is brought down to this station from hundreds of small farmers situated above the valley floor, or they bring the fruit to collection points Kanzu has set up in a nearby radius. Depulping of the coffee cherry is achieved using a 3-disc machine, of Kenya manufacture. The coffee is then fermented for nearly 24 hours. Kanzu has long channels to remove the mucilage from the coffee and grade density, but they also break up the fruit layer by dancing around in the concrete tanks before washing the coffee: It;s a great sight, akin to the quasi-mythic stomping of the grapes. After soaking for 12 hours, the coffee is laid out to dry on raised beds for air- and sun-drying. Much of this coffee is grown at altitudes of 1900-2000+ meters, which works well for the Bourbon variety coffee.
Kanzu is packed with dark caramelized sweetness, both fragrance and aroma boasting smells of light brown sugar, honey, and fruit syrups. Pouring hot water summons a flan like sweetness, warming spices such as cinnamon and cardamom pods, and a fruited accent of blackberry fruit roll ups. Tasting the coffee, City and City+ roasts have a fruit and sugar flavor that's like Thompson raisin and marzipan paste, along with a note of hazelnut syrup. A subtle dark grape flavor comes through too, as well as a top note of floral lemon. Kanzu has an impressively sweet finish (the density of honey), and the long aftertaste continues to be flanked by hints of dry spice notes. Darker Full City roasts produce more of a layered chocolate torte flavor profile, as well as dark fleshy fruit flavors bubbling up as the cup cools. This coffee maintains its structure at darker roast levels, but is best outside of 2nd crack, with the oils just below the surface.