THIS COFFEE HAS SOLD OUT. The cup has impressive sweetness for decaf, malt syrup and burned sugars, notes of rye ale, hops, dehydrated apple, cinnamon sticks, and barley. City+ to Full City+. Good decaf espresso.
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We sent off our Rwanda Cocatu coffee to the Swiss Water folks for decaffeination. They use a natural water processing method where water is used to bind to nearly 100% of the caffeine, and then dissipate when the coffee is dried. This is a much gentler method that leaves much of the volatile compounds affecting flavor and aroma intact, and not to mention does not involve any of the chemicals used in other decaf processing methods, such as methyl chloride. This particular decaf handles well in the roaster. That is, in all of my roasts there was an audible first snap at the time of initial fracturing. This isn't always the case with decaf, making it difficult to judge roast development, also affected by uneven roast coloring. I found that the best balance in our City+ and Full City roasts, which on our Probat sample roaster is about 2:30 - 3:00 after the beginning of first snaps. A little about the coffee: Cocatu Cooperative is located in 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, farms planted entirely in Bourbon cultivar. Cocatu is one of the surviving cooperatives from a time when many were formed but few truly prospered.
The dry fragrance of our lightest City+ roast had a caramelized sweetness, like fresh baked honey wheat bread, along with dried banana chips. The wet aroma sees a boost in sweetness, a molasses undertone, and with an accent of roasted nut. When hot, a City+ roast brewed has a flavor of rye ale, malty sweet and with faint hop suggestions. As you move through the cup, sweetness takes on characteristics of barley malt syrup and burned sugar, with a dehydrated apple note, and cinnamon stick and "woodsy" earth accents in the aroma. Taking the roast a shade darker builds up layers of cocoa roast tones, and echoes the beer and grain aspects sensed at City+. Full City and Full City+ roasts are a good roast level for espresso too, Cocatu producing convincing dark cacao notes, and impressive viscosity when pulling ristretto espresso shots. Try letting these darker roasts rest 48 hours for best results.