Maple sugar and butterscotch billow in the steam after adding hot water, with date, plum and dried fig in the wet aromatics. Once the coffee reaches drinking temperature, there is a dark blackberry tartness, raw honey, and a spiced plum note. The finish is long and pleasant, with cinnamon tea and dark chocolate hanging on in the aftertaste. And it produces a nice espresso too! City to Full City+ Range for this coffee.
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 having just visited Cocatu last week as I write this, 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, even though the harvest was relatively small.
This is our 2nd lot from Cocatu, a washing station that produces some of our most prized Rwanda coffees. The dry fragrance has a smell of dark cherry with delicate floral and clove spice notes abound. In the darker roast ranges a pungent cooked sugar smell develops. A smell like date cooked with brown sugar billows in the steam after adding hot water, with raisin, dried fig, and mulling spices in the wet aromatics. 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 cherry cola, liquid brown sugar, clove chewing gum, berry reduction, 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 this all together. The finish is long and pleasant, with cinnamon tea and dark chocolate hanging on in the aftertaste.