Kanzu is a refined cup, City/City+ roasts showing marzipan, raisin, fleshy fruit, and dark grape. A true beauty, top note highlights of cardamom spice, Darjeeling tea, and spiced orange punch. City to Full City. Good for espresso.
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.
Our 2nd lot of Kanzu picks up where the previous left off, a brewed coffee defined by top notes of spice tea and fruited accents, and pristine finish. The dry fragrance of City roasts has the sweetness of pancake syrup, and with a pinch of clove spice, and dried blueberry thrown in. Pouring hot water brings up an attractive mix of caramel and baking spice notes, clean fruit smells coming up in the steam. Breaking the crust reveals a grape to raisin scents and sachet of spiced accents. There is a refined fruit and sugar flavor in City - City+ roasts, like marzipan and raisin, along with hints of dark grape. A Darjeeling tea note takes pole position in the cooling cup, with notes of spiced orange punch, black currant, and dried cherry dotting the finish. Our darkest roast was edging toward Full City, and had a rich layer of dark cacao bar from start to finish, along with hints of red raisin, and caradamom spice woven in. This coffee maintains its structure at darker roast levels, but in my opinion is best to steer clear of 2nd crack, with the oils just below the surface (my preference is at the lighter end of the spectrum, but I understand that won't be everyone's taste). Kanzu is such a sweet cup of coffee, and "complete" in terms of aromatics, sweetness, acidity, and mouthfeel. If you do roast to Full City or beyond and have an espresso machine, Kanzu produces incredible espresso as well.