BUF Womens’ Coffee
Here is our first BUF coffee of the season! and what a great way to start? This lot is solely grown by farms owned by women. We weren’t actively on the lookout for this, but it happened to be the best lot from BUF this season. Happy coincidence, not a statement. Epiphany, the original (female) coffee entrepreneur and founder of BUF has championed and inspired a generation of women, all over Rwanda.
We simply love Rwandan coffee! There are many subtle reasons why Rwandan coffee stands out. A combination of high altitude and 100% red bourbon (which if you are wine driven, I am lead to believe is the equivalent of growing a merlot) a hugely challenging varietal to grow but fantastically rewarding in the cup.
Rwanda BUF Remera Mill
Town / City: Between Butare and Cyangugu
Region: Gasaka Sector, Nyamagabe District of Southern Province
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Mill Altitude: 1935 Meters above sea level.
Farms Altitude: 1700-2100 Meters above sea level.
Owner: Epiphanie Mukashyaka
Average Farm Size 1/4 of a hectare.
Aromatics: Crust: Citrus Break: Brown sugar | Body: Light | Acidity: Citric~sweet|
On opening the aromatic promise of fruit is fully backed up in the cup, with citrus at both ends. Sandwiched between the juice and the pith of citrus is the emergence of blackcurrant. To make your life easy, or to coin a phrase “This is like a brown sugary Kenya”. I know there aren’t any SL 28’s or SL11 varietals here, however, the fruit sugars and acidity make this just like a great Kenya. Vibrant and blackcurranty. This is a must-drink to cold if you can. The twists and turns in the cup as the coffee cools (and your palate recovers in-between) is so rewarding and I think delicious!
In V60: This is great, but lacks the same depth I can get from full immersion (cafetiere, clever dripper, or even batch brew)
In Espresso: This is an absolute Dream. If you extract a little longer (in time) than we do with coffees like Formula 6 or Simply Brazil. Extractions in the late 20’s to mid-30 seconds work nicely with a 1:2 ratio. eg 17g in 34g out. 93-94C if you can.
Roast level: Medium Filter.
I have told Epiphanies coffee story many times now and forgive me but I am just going to concentrate on what this amazing entrepreneurial lady has achieved and not the adversity she and many others have endured in Rwanda.
In the 1990’s the PEARL program was introduced to help the Rwandan coffee industry recover and focus on producing less but better quality coffee. Epiphanie had stayed on her farm and like many other smallholder farmers, learned ways of producing better coffee.
Now BUF (named after the former state name of Bufundu) is owned by the inspirational Epiphanie and run by her son Samuel. They own 3 washing stations and buy coffee cherries from many smallholder farmers and some local co-operatives too. In harvest time they employ over a hundred local workers.