Rwanda Karenge Coffee Villages - Archived Review

Rwanda Karenge Coffee Villages - Archived Review


THIS COFFEE HAS SOLD OUT. Coffee Villages is a sweet, bright cup, with a refined profile and clean finish. Dark honey and dried fruits emerge in the mid-roast range, and an array of baking spices dot the aftertaste. Bittersweet cocoa flavor is achieved at deeper roast levels. City to Full City+. Great for espresso.

Out of Stock

Additional Info

Varietal BM-139 Bourbon
Grade A1
Arrival Date September 2015 Arrival
Appearance .2 d/300gr, 15+ Screen
Intensity / Prime Attribute Medium intensity/Developed sugar and fruit matrix, lively bright cup, clean finish
Region Karenge, Eastern Rwanda
Roast Recommendations City+ to Full City were our favorites, but City roast will bring out a tartness in the cup, and Full City+ brings on heavy roast complexity - sweet all the way through.
Organic No
Farm Gate Yes
Recommended for Espresso Yes



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If you've been a customer with us for a while, you probably notice we carry coffees from a few of the same washing stations regularly. Coffee Villages is one of them, providing us with solid Bourbon coffee year after year. "Coffee Villages" is perhaps the oddest name I have ever encountered for a coffee mill ... odd in its blandness I suppose. Speaking with the owner I found that there was another mill with the name of the nearest town, so he felt he had to think up something else. Oh well. It is a private station located in the Eastern province, subdistrict of Karenge, with coffee farmers producing from 1600 to 1900 meters. The mill is owned by Tom Bagaza, who saw potential for quality coffee, buying the cherry direct from small farmers in this zone. The varietal is all Bourbon, and mostly the BM-139 type that does well in the Eastern soils. I found this coffee while cupping in Kigali and, despite the odd name, it was really nice. It's quite a bright coffee, and can stand up well to darker roasts, as well as the light ones where the brightness is most vivid. The Karenge station is traditional: a small 1 disc pulper as they use in Kenya, traditional fermentation, a long concrete washing channel to clean the coffee, and raised bed drying.

Coffee Villages is a very approachable coffee - one that will satisfy those on the hunt for an African coffee of medium intensity, yet with refined cup characteristics. This year's coffee is quite consistent with previous years, baking spice complexity and malic fruits coming forward in the cup. The dry fragrance has a dark toffee and molasses smell, along with wafts of clove spice and golden raisin. Aromatics show depth of sweetness, raw honey and all-spice, caramelizing sugar in darker roasts, and a chamomile tea note on the break. There's a structured brightness in the cup, a sort of lemon zest and juice spritz, light and clean. City+ roasts have a flavor of dark honey, dried fruits like raisin and currant, and a range of baking spice notes that shift throughout the aftertaste. Full City roasts are loaded with cocoa richness and a faint flavor of red raisin. The cup is dynamic, clean, and this is a coffee that works well across the roast spectrum as well as with multiple brew methods. Speaking of the latter, espresso shots are incredibly sweet, like Hershey's syrup with a piquant citrus note on the sides of the tongue.