Mr. Espresso

Rwanda Bufcafe Remera

Location: Oakland, California

Origin: Gikongoro Prefecture, south-central Rwanda

Roast: Medium

Est. Price: $14.50/12 ounces

Review Date: March 2018

Agtron: 49/65

Aroma: 8

Acidity/Structure: 8

Body: 9

Flavor: 9

Aftertaste: 8

Blind Assessment:

Balanced and bright with a savory, root-vegetable depth. Lemon verbena, ripe orange zest, roasted cacao nib, rhododendron, a hint of brothy cooked root vegetables in aroma and cup. Structure is quietly sweet/tart with a savory edge; the mouthfeel round, syrupy and full. The finish is richly drying, consolidating around cacao nib and a ripe zesty orange.


This coffee tied for the third-highest rating in a cupping of Value Coffees for Coffee Review‘s March 2018 tasting report. Produced from locally naturalized cultivars of the heirloom Bourbon variety of Arabica and processed at the now famous Bufcafe mills. Epiphanie Mukashyaka established the first Bufcafe washing station or wet mill following the Rwandan genocide and the loss of most of her family. She and her son now operate two wet mills and a dry mill in the area. Processed by the conventional wet or “washed” method, in which skin and fruit flesh are removed from the beans or seeds before they are dried. A wet-processed or “washed” coffee, meaning the fruit skin and pulp were removed from the beans immediately after harvesting and before drying using a particularly complex dry-ferment, wash and soak procedure popular in Rwanda. Mr. Espresso is a San Francisco Bay Area wholesale roaster and espresso parts distributor that slow-roasts its coffees using traditional wood-fired roasting machines. Visit www.mrespresso.com or call 510-287-5200 for more information.

The Bottom Line: A fine expression of the classic Rwanda and Central Africa cup, vibrantly and roundly bright, yet crucially deepened and nuanced by drier and more savory suggestions of lemon verbena and cooked root vegetables.

This review originally appeared in the March, 2018 tasting report: Value Coffees: Searching for the Exceptional at Everyday Prices

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