Mutovu is a newer cooperative, established in 2012 in Nyamasheke area of Western Rwanda. It is in an ideal area with rich soils and access to many small farms in the area. Mutovu is at 1800 meters, with coffee being grown in the area up to 1950 meters. Mutovu Coffee is a made up of a small cooperative of 9 farmers, each with between 1,500 - 5,000 coffee trees. Each farmer supplies their own cherries to the station, as well as collects cherries from their neighbors. The location of Mutovu and ownership structure has made it a great success. 2012 was the first season of production, yet it was able to produce 20 tons of parchment that has consistently cupped very well. We have been buying Mutovu every year since, as well as visiting the coop on every trip to Rwanda we make. Each year we're seeing improvements at the mill, last year's included upgraded milling equipment, new drying beds and a brand new warehouse to better store their parchment coffee.
Mutovu is a fragrant coffee, the dry grounds perfuming our cupping lab when ground. A strong caramel butterscotch sweetness comes through in light roasts, raisin and mulling spices, and a sweet scent of cherry cola. The wet aroma has a culmination of smells that reminds me of the components of raisin spice cake: brown sugar, raisin, cinnamon, clove, and more. The cup is very pleasant and rounded on the palate. The sweetness is intensely aromatic and alludes to butterscotch candy. Mutovu is a complete coffee, well balance, and a pleasant (not aggressive) level of complexity. It has pleasant, fruited brightness, sweet spice, and caramel-vanilla sweetness from beginning to end. The cooling cup sees fruited accents as you move through it: stone fruit, apple, grape, and fading into bittersweet cocoa and lingering tea-like flavors (Early Grey comes to mind).