Kanzu is back, folks, and I have to say this is the best delivery of lots I’ve tasted since we began working with the washing station after the 2007 Golden Cup. Nyamasheke has always been our favorite region in Rwanda, and it’s where we have consolidated all of our sourcing efforts to date. The extreme altitude and Bourbon-laden hills make it one of the coffee world’s true treasures. The Kanzu factory itself is located at 1900 masl, and farmers bring their cherry down to the mill from the slopes above.
When I first began working in Rwanda and Burundi, we focused on getting as close a look as possible into each washing station. The origins were new to us and our curiosity was endless. We had a thirst to understand the process and to really get into the details of production. Because we were used to seeing separated day lots in Latin America, we pressed to get to that level in Rwanda. What turned out to be most efficient was bulking lots by week in each storage facility. This separation was our attempt to understand what was happening throughout the harvest and it gave us the opportunity to offer better premiums to the producers for quality lots. Red Fox continues to work with this way today.
From start to finish, harvest in Rwanda runs about 4-5 months. Lots coming from the peak of the harvest (weeks 8-12) demonstrate saturated levels of sweetness. These coffees are full of muscovado sugar, dark honey, tamarind, and date. Coffees from towards the end of the harvest (weeks 14-18) have brilliant, lucid acidity. Malic and tartaric acidity dominate these profiles, which run the gamut from granny smith apple and asian pear to concord grape and red currant.
Kanzu is arguably our most popular offering of the fall and maybe even the entire year. We have only 90 bags going up today. Please get back to us quickly with your interest.