Kanzu is coffee processing station located in the highlands of 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 near the Nyungwe Forest Preserve. The coffee comes from small-holder farms at altitudes of 1900-2100 meters, which works well for the Bourbon variety coffee they harvest here. 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 Kenya type machine. The coffee is then fermented for 24-48 hours depending on weather (cold snaps slow down the fermentation process). 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 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.This coffee is part of our Farm Gate pricing program.
This is our first fresh new crop Kanzu arrival of the harvest season, producing a brewed cup defined by caramel malt, pralined pecan, Muscavado raw sugar, and a pleasant bittersweet finish. It was just the second processing batch at the mill, but we have found that Kanzu early-to-mid harvest lots cupped best this season! The dry fragrance of City roasts has the sweetness of minimally-processed sugars, and an accent of cinnamon stick and malty cocoa powder. Pouring hot water brings up an attractive mix of caramel malt and baking spice, buttered toast, and restrained dried apple fruit. There are light Muscavado sugars in City - City+ roasts, roasted barley, with a dominating roast taste of pralined pecan. At darker FC levels, there is more bittersweet tang to the cup, and a black tea flavor takes over for the long finish in the cooling cup. It's a great, balanced drinking coffee for drip brews, but I have saved some of the FC roast for espresso after a few days rest. It's a perfect profile for Single Origin shots with its well-integrated acidity. This coffee maintains its structure at darker roast levels, and while it stays in gear well into 2nd crack, we liked the roast levels that were well developed but didn't enter audible 2nd crack range.