Tumba has been a coffee on my radar for years. When I first tasted it, the sweetness and bright acidic snap in the cup made a great impression. But even then I saw how each cup I prepared for testing was different, and a lack of consistency can mean problems in the processing. For a coffee buyer, it signifies that what you taste now might not be what you get upon importation. The backstory at the time was Tumba Station was a private processing wet mill that had 2 owners with very different ideas of quality and how to run a mill. Fast forward 5 years and here we are offering Tumba for the first time under a different light. A local teacher in the Tumba area for which the mill is named, had taken over all aspects, and the coffee was consistent in every cup ... and amazingly good! Venustre Mugraneza, the teacher, is esteemed in the local community and has been systematically improving the mill. The best coffee cherries (those that make up this lot) are dried in a special area of raised beds and receive focused handpicking by the farmers. Tumba is situated at 1825 meters in the Rulindo district, where we also source our excellent Cocatu Cooperative lots.
The dry fragrance of Tumba is accented by sweet spice smells, clove, mace, and a subtle masala note too. From City to Full City the sweetness is like sugarcane juice, and and Full City push aspects of raisin and dark cocoa. The wet grounds have a smell of maple, subtle spiced tea accents, and I catch a whiff of cedar plank in the steam when breaking through the crust. We found the level of sweetness to be most pronounced in our City+/Full City roasts, where impressions of sorghum syrup, muscovado, date sugar, and more are revealed in the cooling cup. The cedar plank sensed in aroma appears as a finishing note, far behind fruited allusions of dried berry and prune, cinnamon stick, and bittersweet cocoa. As espresso, Full City shots extract brooding dark cocoa flavors, a tart dried blueberry note, and burned sugar pungency.