Rwanda Rulindo Cooperatives SWP Decaf-Archived Review 2017

Rwanda Rulindo Cooperatives SWP Decaf-Archived Review 2017


THIS COFFEE HAS SOLD OUT. A balanced decaf at City+/Full City roasts, powdery baker's cocoa bittering tones balanced by flavor of raw sugar and cinnamon, offset by savory accents, and a creamy Macadamia nut note. City+ to Full City. Good for espresso.

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Additional Info

Cutivars Bourbon
Grade A1
Processing Method Wet Processed
Appearance .6 d/300gr, 16 - 18 Screen - some split beans from decaffeination
Region Rulindo, Northern Province
Arrival Date December 2016
Roast Recommendations Best when roasted to City+ and beyond; intense cocoa tones come with dark roasting - City+ to Full City+
Organic No
Farm Gate Yes
Recommended for Espresso Yes



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This decaf is made up from two different cooperative coffees in the Rulindo district, Northern Rwanda. Both are located at just above 1800 meters, and draw from farmer members with plots above 2000 meters above sea level. These coffees as non-decafs were 88+ points, immense sweetness from all-bourbon plantings. We did not have enough of either to decaf on their own, and so decided to send them off as a regional blend since they're practically neighboring washing stations, and have a fairly similar cupping experience. Swiss Water are a fantastic decaffeination plant, offering a non-chemical alternative to other methods like methylene chloride to removing nearly 100% of the caffeine content. Only water is used in the process, first swelling the beans, and then washing away 99.9% of the caffeine while leaving volatile compounds that affect flavor and aroma behind. So what you get back is a much closer approximation of the non-decaf counterpart.

This Rulindo decaf starts with a caramely sweetness in the nose, our City+ roast showing a mild roast tone, that together gives an impression of baked sugar. There's an earth tone present as well, that you'll find in the brewed coffee too. Roasting decafs can be a bit tricky due to the color already having a brownish hue from processing. The cellular structure is also broken down some from decaffeination, and the beans more readily release oils to the surface which will gain presence with rest. Luckily this Rwanda has an audible crack (not always the case with decaf), and we found that the most balance of sweetness and bittering coffee tones found when roasting to where 1st crack has completely ended - we'll call this City+. At this roast level, powdery baker's cocoa bittering tones come up, and are kept well in balance by a sweet flavor of raw sugar. City+ and Full City roasts have inky body too, which fares well in espresso application, and also lays a nice base for milk drinks. The cool cup has a subtle cinnamon note, as well as creamy Macadamia nut.