|Gakenke District, Rwanda.
Amazingly and giddily sweet. Honey, lush night-blooming flowers and ripe orange in aroma and cup. Juicy, lyric acidity; syrupy mouthfeel. Flavor consolidates more than fades in a remarkably rich, honey-toned finish.
Rwanda's tremendous potential as fine coffee producer has only come to fruition over the past several years owing to generous support from international aid agencies, the specialty coffee community and the industry of its growers. Produced entirely from trees of the heirloom Bourbon variety and the Bourbon-related Jackson and Mibirizi cultivars, this lot comes from the Abakundakawa Cooperative. Although the words "Fair Trade" appear on the label of the attractive valve-topped can, judging by the absence of trademarked seal this coffee may not be certified Fair Trade by FairTrade USA (formerly TransFair USA). However, Wonderstate Coffee, formerly Kickapoo Coffee, is affiliated with the Fair Trade Federation, a membership (rather than certifying) organization devoted to "providing fair wages and good employment opportunities to economically disadvantaged artisans and farmers worldwide." Wonderstate Coffee is an award-winning roaster based in rural Wisconsin known for their commitment to guaranteeing higher pay for farmers and being the country’s first 100% solar powered roastery. Visit wonderstatecoffee.com or call (608) 637-2022 for more information.
Who Should Drink It
Certainly the sweetest, and probably the best, Rwanda we have sampled for some time. The sweetness is the natural kind, a deeply nuanced expression of orchard-like purity enriched by a tactfully caramelizing roast. You certainly don’t need sweetener for this one.
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This review originally appeared in the December, 2012 tasting report: Holiday Coffees: Solid to Spectacular