THIS COFFEE HAS SOLD OUT. Brown sugar sweetness, apple butter and cinnamon mark the aromas, with a cup that is very pleasantly bittersweet - rich, dark cocoa and caramel flavor, as well as raw brown sugar. A refined almond essence emerges as well as fruit hints of dark Concord grape. City+ to Full City+. Good for espresso.
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Kanzu is from the southwest area of Lake Kivu in the Nyamasheke district in Rwanda. This is one example where the beauty of the area seems to correlate to the beauty of the coffee itself. Kanzu is tucked away in a valley surrounded by mountain peaks. The physical processing of Kanzu remains fairly consistent. Coffee cherry is brought down to this station from hundreds of small farmers situated above the valley floor, or they bring the fruit to collection points Kanzu has set up in a nearby radius. Depulping of the coffee cherry is achieved using a 3-disc machine, of Kenya manufacture. The coffee is then fermented for nearly 24 hours. Kanzu has long channels to remove the mucilage from the coffee and grade density, but they also break up the fruit layer by dancing around in the concrete tanks before washing the coffee: It;s a great sight, akin to the quasi-mythic stomping of the grapes. After soaking for 12 hours, the coffee is laid out to dry on raised beds for air- and sun-drying. Much of this coffee is grown at altitudes of 1900-2000+ meters, which works well for the Bourbon variety coffee.
This year's Kanzu has complex layers of sweetness in dark caramelized sugars. The dry fragrance has light brown sugar sweetness, with apple butter and cinnamon. Pouring hot water brings up an attractive mix of fresh caramel and dark fruits, like plum and raisin. Breaking the crust reveals a sweet Nutella-like smell, nut and chocolate. The cup is very pleasantly bittersweet, with rich, dark cocoa and caramel flavor, as well as raw brown panela sugar. There is a refined almond essence, like marzipan dusted with cocoa powder, as well as fruit hints of dark Concord grape. A darker Full City+ roasts produce more of a layered chocolate-torte flavor profile, as well as toasted almond. The finish is sweet like brown sugar, and has a density that is like red honey. This coffee maintains its structure at darker roast levels, but is best outside of 2nd crack, with the oils just below the surface. Kanzu is such a sweet cup of coffee, and "complete" in terms of aromatics, sweetness, acidity, and mouthfeel. Kanzu is also a great candidate for single origin espresso.