Years ago, there was an annual race to get coffee out of Rwanda to arrive with European roasters in early December. This race was a Nobel one and became a challenge every year to arrive just that little bit earlier. One year we even got a November delivery and then Will went to pastures new.
Today, we tend to get our Rwandan deliveries in late January, behind Burundi and Ecuador crops. There is the occasional excuse of blaming another commodity for holding up ports, but this is just noise. The reality is that pre-ship Rwandas are so bright and juicy 99% of the coffee-drinking population would not enjoy them. The resting and slower delivery is actually an advantage to us. The top-end acidity becomes sweeter and this brings me to why we can brew Nyarusiza as a One-Roast now. Water movement (also known as aging) is a new-ish term in specialty coffee. You can buy tools to read how fast your coffee is fading, or you can use experience to taste and see how coffees are faring. As we received our samples from the warehouse, we could tell straight away that this coffee is both amazing and so much softer than it was months ago.
Mill: Buf Nyarusiza
Varietal: 100% Red Bourbon
Processing: Fully washed & sun-dried on raised beds
Altitude: Altitude of washing station: 1,743 meters above sea level altitude of farms: 1,700 to 1,900 meters above sea level
Owner: 145 independent smallholder farmers delivering to Nyarusiza washing station
Town / City: Kigoma Collection point; Between Butare and Cyangugu
Region: Kamegeri Sector, Nyamagabe District of Southern Province
Roast Light filter.
Filter. This is deeply sweet, with soft citrus and some stone fruit and potentially cocoa too. 60-65g of coffee per litre, if you can 92-95C. Finer grinds will give you higher acidity.
Espresso. This is such an easy coffee to extract, even as a light roast. We have had great cups in and out of milk from sub 20-34 seconds. That is one broad range, I am aware. The longer extractions are better for me personally. 16-17g of coffee in. Milk-based drinks 34-35g of espresso out and as always an extra 10-15g of liquid for espresso. It is just sweeter and less salty and sour than those tight shots. As always, so much of brewing (and particularly at home) is all about what you like. These are mere guides that we like to work to.
Buf mills are named after the region formerly named Bufundu. Founded by the inspirational entrepreneur Epiphanie Mukashyaka, and assisted by her son Samuel Muhirwa. In Rwanda, farms are smallholdings and have an average of some 300 trees. Like Burundi, with many smallholder producers, the outcome of the crop is heavily down to the quality of the processing. Every day’s picking is traceable through its journey in the mill. Buf employs many local people during the harvest time and has also won many national and international awards for quality.