Rwanda Karenge Coffee Villages

This is a nice solid Rwandan coffee. As is typical of this origin it isn’t outrageous in any way, just a nice solid every morning coffee. Karenge is a region in eastern Rwanda. Coffee Villages is the name of the milling station where the raw coffee beans are processed. These are often named after the nearest town, but in this case that name was taken.

I am particularly fond of Rwandan coffees. They are fairly predictable, and have both a solid balance of qualities and enough difference to distinguish them. This Karenge is typical, in that it has a lot of solid coffee taste, while having enough brightness not to be in any way dull. You may notice some citrus fruit flavor here. This is definitely not an acidic coffee. Rwandas may not often be sensational, but they definitely grow on you. While I am definitely a fan of the other more outspoken East African origins, in particular, Ethiopia and Yemen, some of my very favorites, all time, have been Rwandans.

Indonesia Bali Kintamani Blue Moon

Bali Kintamani "Red Cherry". Photo by MTC Group on flickr.
Bali Kintamani “Red Cherry”
Bali is one of the Indonesian islands, and, while not the most well known for its coffee production, has had coffee under cultivation for roughly 300 years. The Kintamani region was basically put out of business about 50 years ago by a volcanic eruption, but has since built back up.

This is a middle of the road Indonesian in the cup, not too earthy and not as bright as some of the newer coffees coming out of this origin.

Timor Eraulu Lauana Villages

East Timor
East Timor
This East Timor coffee comes from two villages, Lauana and Eraulu. Each has a farmer’s cooperative, and together represent approximately 100 small farms. This coffee is a washed, wet process coffee, which accentuates the sweet and fruity characteristics of the bean. producing a sweet and fruited cup. Timor coffee is actually an unusual hybrid of arabica and robusta. It possesses the disease resistance of its robusta ancestor, an important feature in the present days of rampant coffee rust, whike having flavors more like arabica.

First impressions of this lot—fruity, sweet, and clean.

Photo: Ellen Forsyth on flickr License: CC BY-SA 2.0

Ethiopia Dry Process Gey Harar

Harari Traditions
Harari Traditions
This is as close to a Yemeni coffee flavor profile as I’m likely to be able to offer as part of our Coffee of the Week offerings. Yemenis are expensive and can be hard to get in quantity.

Harar is a distinct Ethiopian region, with a dryer climate and a different tradition of coffee cultivation and processing from the more familiar Yirgacheffe region. Due to the aridity of the Harar region, coffees are necessarily dry process since the amounts of water necessary for wet processing are simply not available.

Overall, considering the local cultivation methods and the dry processing, and the similarity of the varieties involved, both Ethiopian and Yemeni coffees being essentially heirloom varieties, Harars are closely akin to Yemenis. They share a rustic wild character, engendering descriptives such as leather and wood, but in the case of the Harars also possessing a typically Ethiopian fruit and flower character.

This particular coffee is sweet, heavy bodied and complex, with a range of flavor notes reaching from leather and wood to fruit and flower. Probably not to everyone’s taste. This is not a mild, simple coffee, but if variety in coffee intrigues you, you don’t want to miss this one.

Mexico Organic Oaxaca La Lagunilla Cooperative

Cathedral of Oaxaca by Russ Bowling on flickr
Cathedral of Oaxaca
This coffee is a blend of coffees from forty different farmers with small holdings in and around the small town of Cacolotepec in Oaxaca, in southern Mexico. Oaxaca has a robust agricultural sector, of which coffee is only a part. The La Lagunilla Cooperative is recently formed and handles the latter stages of the coffee milling and the marketing. This is a wet process, organic certified coffee.

While brighter than the Cameroon Mifi Longberry which I ordered at the same time, this is also a sweet and bodied coffee with emphasized notes of coffee, nuts, and dark sugar. One of the terms that Sweet Maria’s uses to describe this coffee is “coffee-like”. Again, another venture into finding a mild, balanced coffee without particular extremes. And I will have more to say when it arrives and I can roast a sample.

This is definitely a nutty coffee, at the same time fairly bright. I would not call it fruity or floral in any way. Hazelnuts come to mind. Quite distinctly sweet.

Cameroon Mifi Java Longberry

Cameroon Coffee Forest
Cameroon Coffee Forest
This is an unusual origin, and not often seen. I, personally, have never had a Cameroonian coffee. It’s another of my selections exploring mild, daily drinking coffees. Sweet Maria’s description notes this is a low acid cup with noticeable body and sweetness. I’m presently still waiting arrival of this shipment, and will let you know more about it once I have it in hand and can roast up a sample.
Photo: Trees for the Future, License: CC-BY-2.0

Roast and Ship History

This page was set up initially to help me keep track of what I have, and will be, roasting, but I realized that it might be interesting and even perhaps useful for visitors to the site. The “Coffees of the Future” are subject to change! The links go to descriptions of the coffees.

Friday, December 26, 2014
INDONESIA Bali Kintamani Blue Moon

Friday, December 19, 2014
ETHIOPIA Mokamba Dry Process Natural

Monday, December 15, 2014
INDONESIA Bali Kintamani Blue Moon

Monday, December 8, 2014
ETHIOPIA Dry Process Gey Harar

Sunday, December 1, 2014
CAMEROON Mifi Java Longberry

Sunday, November 24, 2014
TIMOR Sulawesi Bone Bone Village

Sunday, November 17, 2014
TIMOR Eraulu Lauana Villages

Monday, November 10, 2014
ETHIOPIA Dry Process Gey Harar

Sunday, November 2, 2014
BRAZIL Pulp Natural Fazenda do Sertao

Sunday, October 26, 2014
CAMEROON Mifi Java Longberry

Sunday, October 19, 2014
ETHIOPIA Dry Process Grade 1 Yirgacheffe Aricha

Sunday, October 12, 2014
SUMATRA Lintong 17+ Toba Batak

Sunday, October 5, 2014
MEXICO Organic Oaxaca La Lagunilla Cooperative

Sunday, September 28, 2014
CAMEROON Mifi Java Longberry

Sunday, September 21, 2014
BRAZIL Pulp Natural Fazenda do Sertao

Sunday, September 14, 2014
ETHIOPIA Dry Process Grade 1 Yirgacheffe Aricha

Sunday, September 7, 2014
MEXICO Organic Oaxaca La Lagunilla Cooperative

Sunday, August 31, 2014
CAMEROON Mifi Java Longberry

Monday, August 25, 2014
BRAZIL Pulp Natural Fazenda do Sertao

Monday, August 17, 2014
ETHIOPIA Dry Process Grade 1 Yirgacheffe Aricha

Sunday, August 10, 2014
SUMATRA Lintong 17+ Toba Batak

Monday, August 04, 2014
ETHIOPIA Dry Process Grade 1 Yirgacheffe Aricha

Monday, July 28, 2014
BRAZIL Pulp Natural Fazenda do Sertao

Monday, July 21, 2014
SUMATRA Lintong 17+ Toba Batak

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
ETHIOPIA Dry Process Grade 1 Yirgacheffe Aricha

Monday, July 07, 2014
ETHIOPIA Mokamba Dry Process Natural

Tuesday, July 01, 2014
BRAZIL Pulp Natural Fazenda do Sertao

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
BRAZIL Fazenda Sao Benedito

Saturday, June 14, 2014
ETHIOPIA Dry Process Grade 1 Yirgacheffe Aricha

Saturday, June 07, 2014
RWANDA Small Producers Mutovu Coop

Monday, May 26, 2014
ETHIOPIA Mokamba Dry Process Natural

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
SUMATRA Toba Batak Peaberry

Monday, May 05, 2014
RWANDA Small Producers Mutovu Coop

Sunday, April 27, 2014
RWANDA Nyamasheke

Monday, April 21, 2014
GUATEMALA Finca Candelaria-Lote Cedro

Monday, April 14, 2014
ETHIOPIA Mokamba Dry Process Natural

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
EL SALVADOR Mahajual Tablon Tempisque

Sumatra Lintong 17+ Toba Batak

Lake Toba
Lake Toba
This is a Sumatran coffee, thus Indonesian, and the most common Indonesian origin. Lintong is a city, Toba a lake and Batak the ethnicity of the farmers in this region.

17+ refers to bean size. 17 is fairly large. In and of itself size isn’t that much of a determinant of flavor, but larger sizes mean that the coffee has been more carefully picked over during processing, and at least with Indonesians a certain portion of defects associated with small bean size are minimized.

This is a wet process Sumatran, which excludes some of the earthy natural flavors often associated with Indonesian coffees, actually a byproduct of the more problematic dry processing methods traditional in this origin. It’s still quite distinct from the floral and fruitily aromatic coffees of Africa. This coffee’s traditionally Indonesian with darker aromatics which become quite chocolatey as the cup cools.

I tend to roast this coffee a bit toward the dark end of the range. It would make a good Vienna roast, as the dominant flavor elements are capable of surviving a darker roast, and the roast flavors, more noticeable as the roast darkens, go well with the underlying flavors of this sort of coffee. Darker roasting also mutes the acidity of coffee, which, since this is a coffee without as much of the lighter notes that are acidity related, lets you have a milder coffee without losing the important specific qualities of the bean.

Photo: Global Panorama on flickr, License CC-BY-2.0

Brazil Pulp Natural Fazenda do Sertao

parrotThey grow an awful lot of coffee in Brazil, as has been drummed into our psyches since at least the 50s. But most of it isn’t all that good.

Most Brazilian coffee is grown at low altitudes, which results in low density beans, which equate with not so exceptional tasting coffee. Think Maxwell House and CocaCola! But they grow so much coffee in Brazil and some portion of it at heights that there’s some pretty good coffee available from this origin.

Fazenda do Sertao is the name of the farm and roughly translates to ‘backwoods farm’ It’s decent sized, approximately 600 acres, and coffee from different parts of the farm is segregated into separate small lots. This lot would not be thought of as a super cup. Coffee cuppers rate coffees on a 100-point scale. To be considered specialty coffee, the designation used for high quality coffees, a coffee has to score at minimum in the mid 80s. Sweet Maria’s cuppers have rated this coffee at 84.8, which is firmly in the low end of the range. So why are they selling it and why am I offering it?

The rating system for coffee is designed to facilitate the buying of large quantities of coffee, tons, really, and to avoid coffee with noticeable defects. Essentially any coffee scoring in the specialty range is pretty good stuff.

The rating system is also so constructed to favor coffees with lighter flavor elements predominant. This means Kenyas and Central Americans have an inherent advantage when scored. This is fine if you tend to like the more aromatic and necessarily acidic coffees. But it means darker toned coffees, Indonesians and certain American coffees will always score lower. The more rustic Ethiopians, and Yemenis tend not to score very high, though mostly because they often are formally defective, though the “defects” in this case are really what make these coffees particularly desirable.

This coffee has prominent body and predominant nut and cocoa flavors. Very different from a highly floral, fruity Ethiopian, and not really to be compared on an equal basis. The two are really distinctly different drinks. You’ll likely find you have a preference for one or the other type, or that you enjoy the variation.

Photo by Steve Wilson. License CC BY 2.0

Ethiopia Dry-Process Grade 1 Aricha

giffy

Yirga Cheffe
Yirga Cheffe
This coffee is a dry processed coffee from the Yirga Cheffe region of Ethiopia. Dry processed coffees are prepared by drying the whole coffee cherry–spreading it out in the sun to dry for about two weeks, after which it’s hulled mechanically. This coffee is further characterized as Grade 1, which means the coffee is picked over, bean by bean. Over or underripe beans and those with other defects are removed. This results in a higher quality, more consistent coffee flavor-wise in the cup.

The resulting coffee is a good example of a Dry Processed (DP) Ethiopian, fruity and aromatic, with the complexity typically found in dry processed coffees compared to their wet process counterparts. DPs, in my experience, tend to be a bit more complex than their washed counterparts, and have a relatively muted brightness or acidity. But origin is a significant factor in both brightness and aroma, with Africans and some Central Americans tending to be both brighter and more fruity and floral than South Asian (India and Indonesian) and the typical South American coffee.

This Aricha is definitely one of those coffees with knock-your-socks-off potential!

Photo: MTC Group on flickr. License CC-BY-2.0