Light roasts of Cyato are elegant, grapefruit-like acidity tying together flavors of honey, simple syrup, floral blueberry, tart wild berry, dark grape, and a beautifully spiced finish. City to City+.
Tucked away in the Nyamasheke region of Rwanda's Western Province is the Cyato washing station site. This is one of two washing stations managed by the Fidele family, the first of the two producing naturals and started by the father, and Cyato managed mainly by son Leo (that's Leo in the second image). Cyato is set up with a Penagos 800, and they are producing mainly fully washed coffee. The station is much farther than some of the others we buy from in Nyamasheke, and on the edge of the Forest of Nyungwe. Cyato sits at roughly 1850 meters above sea level, and the local coffee farmers have coffee planted well above 1900 meters, growing older Bourbon cultivars. Coffee is wet processed, hand picked, and dried at Cyato proper, but then moved to a house nearby where they store the dry parchment to rest before preparing for exportation. A newer venture for the Fidele's, they hope to reinvest in their wet mill for the upcoming season in order increase the mill capacity and produce a higher volume of exportable specialty in return.
"Elegant" comes to mind when taking in our City roast of Cyato. With pristine sweetness that's like simple syrup, clean citrus and berry tones, and a floral overlay, it's clear from the outset that this new arrival is a cut above. Smelling the ground coffee, you're hit with a smell of sugar cane juice, a sweetness that achieves a floral pitch, and you start to get a sense of the clear fruited notes that will invariably accent the cup. In the wet aroma I get an underlying honey sweetness, not the density of honey itself, but like tea sweetened with honey, along with a spiced orange smell that reminds me of orange marmalade. Once the cup cools enough to drink it, a lovely citrus-like brightness is apparent from the get go, like pink grapefruit, which is complementary to the citrus accents that come into play as the temp dips further. A light honey note accents the cup, and a pervasive yet simple raw sugar sweetness stays with you from start to finish. Berry notes come through too, like tart wild berry and cranberry, and a blueberry flavor note that carries a floral side like when the fruit is ripe. A dark grape note develops in City+ roasts, coming off like warm grape juice peppered with whole clove and all spice berry, and an orange blossom aromatic note graces the finish. The citrus acidity rings though at this slightly darker shade, and both City and City+ finish clean, a brisk tea-like quality and baking spiced accents come to a point.