Cocatu is a cooperative in the area of Tumba town, in the very mountainous Rulindo district, Northern Rwanda. Located at 1820 meters, the coop actually draws coffee from the surrounding hills up to 2100 meters. Cocatu receives support from a Kigali-based group who not only provides advice on technical agronomy, but also offers business support to the coop. The later has been absent from many well-intentioned efforts to support cooperative coffee farmers, and can lead to unbearable debt when a coop leaders do not have good business and accounting training. It's not as interesting as discussing cultivars, altitudes and micro-climates, but most coops fail for lack of management, not lack of coffee quality. With this lot, the farmer received 65% of the price we paid, which, when you consider all the expenses to the cooperative to process the coffee, the dry-milling, transport, and export costs, is a higher stake than we have seen in many places. To me, that's sustainable agriculture in a broader sense of the term.
Cocatu is a tremendously sweet and juicy coffee. Dry fragrance has strong floral elements, with pie crust, butter cookie. The wet aromatics range from currants and raisin to toasted brown sugar and malt with a more of the buttery, pie-like note. The cup flavor of Cocatu is juicy with the combined brightness of apple and grape, tartaric and malic. Sweet cacao and caramel notes round this, of our favorite Rwandese offering. We did some very light roasts that were very aromatic, but were dominated by malty sweet grain taste in the cup. If you can draw out the roast, City is an ideal level for Cocatu, or City+ if you don't have control to extend the roast time at 1st Crack.