Rwanda Kinini Natural Autumn Harvest
Tasting notes: Blueberry, Mango, Syrup.
The Northern Province in Rwanda is one of five that were created in 2006 as part of a government decentralization program designed to restructure administration locally. Containing an abundancy of interlocking undulate slopes and mountains, coffee here is frequently grown heavily intercropped on small farms and gardens hewn from the hillsides. Satellite technology is used to monitor leaf glare from the trees -any changes can be a sign of disease or infestation and early detection pays dividends when it comes to clean cups and good green.
In 2012, 38 of the 252 hectares were planted with Bourbon Mayaguez 139 seedlings, 2,000-2,500 in each hectare. This totalled nearly half a million new trees, and access to nurseries and supply of new trees continues. The cultivar itself most likely originated from the island of Reunion (The same place as where the original Bourbon mutation was first noted), together with Jackson that is also widely found in Rwanda, another Bourbon mutation. The third commonly found cultivar, Bourbon Mayaguez 71, could have come from Ethiopia, introduced via the Congo. Though there are now some new varietals being introduced to the country through such programs as World Coffee Research, the country still has Bourbon as the main cultivar.
Weather has proven changeable and inconsistent over recent years. Coupled with high to extremely high altitudes, this has led to a widening of the cropping period from late March or April (starting on the lower altitudes) right through to December for the highest plots.
2019 has been the first year for the production of naturals allowing for a little research first to ensure the output is of the quality we have come to expect from Jacquie and Malcolm. Coffee is picked and brought to the Kinini washing station where it is separated from the other lots to be processed. The cherry must be delivered by 4pm on the day of picking and infrastructure has been built in order to make this easier. As the washing station grows, raised beds have expanded allowing the cherry to be spread out and dried for 48 days at a depth of two inches, turning regularly to avoid over fermentation and allow even drying throughout the crop. Each raised bed comes with its own marker to ensure microlot traceability and yellow tarpaulin for quick covering in case of rain.