An extremely small Cup of Excellence lot. The cup is very balanced and sweet. Infused with rich floral notes, sweet lemon and berry. It needs to cool down from brew temperature a bit in order to "open up" flavor-wise. City+ to Full City.
Kopakama won 2 spots in the top 10 of the 2010 Cup of Excellence. This lot is the #5, one of my favorites during the event. It was air-freighted to us this year, since it is such a small amount and we don't want to see it languish in some humid port somewhere. Kopakama has 823 farmer-members, and the cooperative washing station (ie. wet mill) 1757 Meters. The coffee farms are situated within a range from 1700 to 2000 meters on the west-facing slopes toward Lake Kivu. The Rutsiro district is really otherworldly; dramatic steep mountains plunging down into the depths of azure blue Lake Kivu. Because to of the tectonic activity in this spreading rift zone, carbon dioxide and methane gas vents are found along the shore and bubble up through the lake itself. Even with it's unique chemistry, Lake Kivu has rich fisheries. Since the lake is at 1750 meters, all the coffee grown in the area, even that right at the lake level itself, is very high grown. This was my second time as a judge at a Rwanda CoE, but my first to visit the far Western areas, where Kopakama is located.
Kopakama looks and cups like a dense, high-grown Bourbon coffee, which is exactly what it is! The dry ground Kopakama coffee has a caramel-vanilla fragrance that hints at good things to come. Red berries, honey and almond cookie scent are also present, and become more distinct in the wet aromatics when I add the hot water. The cup is very balanced and sweet. Infused with sweet lemon and berry, the sweetness of this cup that is apparent in the aroma takes some time to register in tasting. It needs to cool down from brew temperature a bit in order to "open up" flavor-wise. Dense body suits this very "compact" flavor profile; it's a coffee I think of as well-structured, muscular. I think this comes from the brightness, the acidity that "knits" together the flavors, as well as body. The sweet and clean fruit notes (stone fruits emerge as the cup cools) pair well with a rich, floral-laced honey sweetness.