What I'm Drinking: Rwanda Abakundekawa

This whole week I have been drinking a coffee from Rwanda with the cool name of Abakundekawa and I'm reminded again of why this is absolutely one of my most favorite coffee. This coffee was obtained in green form and roasted by me (by the way, I was fortunate enough to have got 30 pounds of these beans about a year ago and still have a little less than half of that left!). I have roasted this coffee to a whole range of roasts from very light to very dark and have decided that this coffee is best roasted to a FC to a FC+ level.

This is a little bit about the coffee:

Abakundakawa cooperative is located in Gakenke district in the Northern
part of Rwanda.  The cooperative is Fair trade certified.  The
cooperative is large, with 1954 members and two washing stations.  40%
of the cooperative’s members are female.  The cooperative’s production
has been increasing since 2004.  In 2009 the cooperative sold its entire
production to Rwanda Trading Company.  In 2010 the cooperative expects
to produce 4 containers of green coffee.

Abakundakawa is part of the MISOZI Group of Cooperatives and leads the way in organic certification processes.

1954 members total   785 female members

And the reason that I obtained such a high quantity of this coffee is because of all the positive cupping results it received:

dry fragrance - red currants, deep, rich pungent smell

wet aroma - the sweet ruby red grapefruit and floral hibiscus aspects shine in the wet aroma

acidity - Red currants, ruby red grapefruit, fantasticly enjoyable acidity.

body - beautifully balanced body.

flavor - Red currants, ruby red grapefruit, hibiscus floral, craisins

aftertaste - perfect finish, the beautiful acidity trails through in the finish.

I've never had a coffee like this where the sweetness (rosewater, dew,
hibiscus) melds so well with the forward acidity of red currant/craisin
ruby red acidity. Good, good stuff here!

I drink this coffee both brewed in aeropress, french press and also as SO espresso. Actually yesterday was the day I got the most memorable experience with this coffee extracted using my trusty La Pavoni Profesional Lever machine.  The most memorable was a small cappuccino that I made:

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Sorry about all the messy stuff in this photo, here is a better view:

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And another photo when I almost finished with the Cappuccino: 

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What I have found about this coffee is that lever machine render the espresso shots very much better than pump machine, and evendently, I made espresso shot that looks amazing on the Nuova Simonelli Musica but the taste was nothing to sing about. While shots on the Pavoni are nuanced and full of flavor. Because I'm roasting this coffee to a darker level than the cupper did, I get much more dark fruits while that acidity is less, but it is still there and amazingly balance. The body improve when this coffee is roasted darker as well as the crema that is produced during the espresso extraction process (not that it is anything importance, taste still trump crema anyday!). With a small amount of milk as with the above cappucino (1.25 oz of espresso + about 3 ounces of milk), it become a luscious, most prominent flavor was dried plum and dark chocolate (kinda like truffle dusted with cocoa!). The body of the coffee and the thick microfoamed milk make this an over the top drink, very desert like!

I really enjoy this coffee and I'm sure that I will be sad when  I run out of this. There is not a huge selection of Rwanda coffee on Roaste (partly because it is not in season right now, I think May is the season for Rwanda coffee) but if you are interested in Rwandan coffee here are some on Roaste:





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