Always a shining star, Cocatu has a Medjool date aroma, brown sugar sweetness in the cup, with accents of chamomile flower tea, cinnamon sauce, clove, and fig pudding. Deeper roast levels produce incredible level of dark chocolate. City+ to Full City+. Good for espresso.
Cocatu is a cooperative in the area of Tumba town, in the mountainous Rulindo district, Northern Rwanda. Located at 1820 meters, the coop actually draws coffee from the surrounding hills of 2000+ meters. Cocatu is one of the surviving cooperatives from a time when many were formed but few truly prospered. The problem was not the quality of coffee or effort of the farmer-members. It was the absence of sound business advice to control expenses and raise the working capital to buy coffee cherry in the harvest. Cocatu has had one great advantage over the last 5 years though: They have had a consistent buyer paying a great price for the coffee. We can't offer much to help run the cooperative, we can't save them from the poor decisions of past leaders, but we can be there supporting them with a price that rewards the great coffee they produce. To me, that's sustainable agriculture in a broader sense of the term, and on my many visits to the cooperative processing station, I see many improvements indicating they are not only solvent but thriving. New drying beds, a new disc pulper and many happy workers all indicate their success.
This is our 3rd lot from Cocatu, a washing station that produces some of our most prized Rwanda coffee. The dry fragrance has a smell of dried cherry, and delicate black tea and spice notes. In the darker roast ranges a pungent cooked sugar smell develops, culminating in a smell of caramelizing sugar in a pan. The wetted crust has a sweetness like sweetened Medjool dates, raisiny dried fruits and clove spice smells accenting the steam. Once the coffee reaches drinking temperature a floral tea note is sensed, like chamomile flower tea sweetened with red honey, and baking spice notes unfold as the cup continues to cool. The level of sweetness is incredible all across the roast spectrum, and the flavors coming to mind drinking City and Full City roasts are like liquid brown sugar, cinnamon sauce, fig pudding, clove spice, and chocolate covered coconut. Cocatu has a nice, thick body, and paired with a slightly darker roast level becomes quite fudge-like, a lemon-like brightness tying it all together. The finish is long and pleasant, with cinnamon tea and dark chocolate hanging on in the aftertaste.