For many years we firmly believed there was no good coffee in Tauranga, Excelso Coffee Roasters changed that! Feature #26 saw us collaborate with Excelso Coffee Roasters bringing the first Brazilian offering in over a year and bringing with it a story of a producer who has an eye for sustainability and a farm with a long history.
Today Excelso Coffee Roasters join us again, this time with a coffee from Nyamasheke district, Rwanda.
(Words by Langdon Coffee Merchants) Tropic Coffee Company Ltd is a family-owned business founded in 2015, with a focus on supporting farmers. The owners previously worked with farmers and noticed a growing need to better support farmers. The company values transparency towards partners, clients, and farmers, who are grateful that coffee washing stations are built with the distance required to travel in mind. What sets this company apart, is they operate in three different regions of Rwanda, ranging at different altitudes, climate, soil, and rainfall. As such, the organoleptic composition of their coffee profile has an interesting variation. They process coffees using fully washed, natural, honey and special experimental lot using natural anaerobic fermentation.
Cyato coffee is 100% red bourbon coffee owned and processed by Tropic Coffee Company. The washing station is located approximately 1930masl in the district of Nyamasheke, in the Cyato sector, in the west of Rwanda. The farming groups supplying coffee to the Cyato washing station is located at 2200masl. The Cyato washing station has been in operation since 2017 and has the capacity to process more than 300 metric tonnes of coffee cherries per season. Due to its cool weather, the harvest season is prolonged up to July.
Drying coffee in a cool climate is one of the crucial factors for high quality coffee production. It gives coffee beans a strong coffee flavour, and pleasant aroma, as well as increasing the longevity of the bean. Cyato have well-organised farmer groups who cultivate the plantation around the forest with programs that educate farmers on how to enhance coffee production by preservation of pollinators. Farmers do not use any synthetic fertiliser or pesticide to preserve the lives of all the insects that act as coffee pollinators, especially bees and other creatures that contribute to the quality of the coffee.
Tropic Coffee considers bees and other pollinators as essential players in food production. For a long time, the bees' role in coffee production have never been considered, until recently. The native honeybee existing in Nyungwe forest where Cyato coffee is grown have created a unique profile for this coffee, as during pollination bees leave vital microorganisms, giving the coffee a more uniform size and yields better flavours. Furthermore, research revealed that bee pollination can increase the yield by 36-50%.
Farmers in the Cyato sector own coffee plantations around the Nyungwe forest, which is favourable for coffee not only because of the abundant presence of bees, but also the rich black humus and sandy soil. the region is also host to Lake Kivu, which provides a cool and wet climate at high elevation. All these factors combined result in unique coffee.
Rwanda Cyato Washed
Region: Nyamasheke district, western province of Rwanda
Altitude: 1900 - 2200 masl
Harvest: April - July 2020
Varieties: Red Bourbon
Grab yourself a bag here.
Photos thanks to Langdon Coffee Merchants, credit to Tropics Coffee.