Kanzu Lot 4 Washed - Rwanda
Flavour Notes: apricot, dates, walnut
Located just west of Lake Kivu’s blue-green waters, the Kanzu station is set against verdant green hills where coffee, sugar cane, and bananas are grown. There is a fertile crown of land around the ancient volcanoes where ash has collected and caused the soil to be rich in minerals. Smallholder producers grow small amounts of bourbon variety coffee alongside sustenance crops of bananas and beans. The Kanzu station begins collecting cherries in March, and harvest stretches all the way to July. Thanks to stellar management and harvest planning, the Kanzu station separates the harvest into outturns (much like Kenya). Cherries that arrive at the washing station are floated to separate the less dense cherries away, just as an initial quality check before fermentation. A disc pulper then strips away the outer skin of the cherry, leaving a mucilage covered seed that undergoes a dry fermentation for up to 18 hours. The wastewater is then treated with Effective microorganisms (EMTechnologiesTM) to ensure runoff and erosion are managed, securing precious water resources for the surrounding community. The community surrounding the Kanzu station has been the subject of focused aid efforts since the mid-’90’s which has transformed the Rwandese coffee industry following the end of the genocide. Much of this has been due to USAID and Dr. Tim Schilling, who has led the effort to build collection stations and developed cooperatives. This work has led to the burgeoning market access that specialty coffee grown in Rwanda has experienced over the decade.
The Fermentation Process: Washed
After being harvested at peak ripeness, the coffee cherries are pulped mechanically, removing the majority of the fruit. The coffee is then placed in open-air ceramic tanks filled with water and ferments for several hours in the open air, gaining access to wild, naturally-occuring yeast. During this process, the starches break down into sugars and bring the coffee flavour alive. The coffee is finally then dried for 11 days in a controlled temperature drying room.