Rwanda Sholi Washed

$22.00$103.00

This lot comes from the Sholi cooperative, located in the Mahanga district of Rwanda. The group was founded as a women’s cooperative in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide; “Sholi” means “mutual assistance” in Kinyurwanda, one of the country’s Bantu languages.

Smallholder farmers bring coffee cherry (each farmer averages about 400 coffee trees on their land) to the central wet mill, where it is de-pulped, hand-sorted, and then dried on raised beds for up to three weeks.

The dry fragrance is sweet, with subtle purple florals and grapefruit, along with toasted graham. The brewed coffee continues in this vein, with pink grapefruit, subtle stonefruit and purple florals, brown sugar and black tea. It’s a sophisticated but approachable cup.

—–
note:

Coffees from Rwanda are susceptible to something known as “potato taste defect.” It comes from bacteria (common on coffee farms in Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and parts of a few other east African countries) that can infect a coffee fruit if its skin is cut or punctured. The bacteria produces a pyrazine (wine geeks may know this chemical as the origin of grassy and bell peppery flavors in Sauvignon Blanc and Cab Franc) which is harmless, but the flavor and aroma it produces in coffee is pretty off-putting. If a bean in your coffee bag has this chemical, you’ll know it, as after grinding, your kitchen will smell like dried, raw potato skin. There’s no effective or foolproof way to sort them out during processing or roasting, so a spoiled cup or pot every once in a while is the cost of doing business when utilizing coffee from these countries. We think the risk is worth it, as the coffee from Rwanda—as you’ll soon find out—can be dynamite. Beyond this fact, we think it would be unfair and extreme to forgo purchasing a particular coffee from a country that depends upon coffee as a primary export because of an unpreventable defect appearing in a fraction of a fraction of a percent of green beans. That said, we don’t expect you to bear the cost of the defect, so if you do encounter one, and so have to throw out grounds that you were prepping for your morning pot, please let us know, and we’ll refund you a few bucks or send you some extra beans next time around. You can also minimize your risk by grinding your coffee in multiple smaller doses, instead of one larger one. And don’t worry about drinking it. It’s harmless. It just makes the coffee earthy and vegetal.

  • Producer: smallholder farmers
  • Location: Mahanga district, southern province
  • Elevation: 1800-2000 MASL
  • Varietal: red bourbon
  • Process: washed, raised bed dried

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This lot comes from the Sholi cooperative, located in the Mahanga district of Rwanda. The group was founded as a women’s cooperative in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide; “Sholi” means “mutual assistance” in Kinyurwanda, one of the country’s Bantu languages.

Smallholder farmers bring coffee cherry (each farmer averages about 400 coffee trees on their land) to the central wet mill, where it is de-pulped, hand-sorted, and then dried on raised beds for up to three weeks.

The dry fragrance is sweet, with subtle purple florals and grapefruit, along with toasted graham. The brewed coffee continues in this vein, with pink grapefruit, subtle stonefruit and purple florals, brown sugar and black tea. It’s a sophisticated but approachable cup.

—–
note:

Coffees from Rwanda are susceptible to something known as “potato taste defect.” It comes from bacteria (common on coffee farms in Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and parts of a few other east African countries) that can infect a coffee fruit if its skin is cut or punctured. The bacteria produces a pyrazine (wine geeks may know this chemical as the origin of grassy and bell peppery flavors in Sauvignon Blanc and Cab Franc) which is harmless, but the flavor and aroma it produces in coffee is pretty off-putting. If a bean in your coffee bag has this chemical, you’ll know it, as after grinding, your kitchen will smell like dried, raw potato skin. There’s no effective or foolproof way to sort them out during processing or roasting, so a spoiled cup or pot every once in a while is the cost of doing business when utilizing coffee from these countries. We think the risk is worth it, as the coffee from Rwanda—as you’ll soon find out—can be dynamite. Beyond this fact, we think it would be unfair and extreme to forgo purchasing a particular coffee from a country that depends upon coffee as a primary export because of an unpreventable defect appearing in a fraction of a fraction of a percent of green beans. That said, we don’t expect you to bear the cost of the defect, so if you do encounter one, and so have to throw out grounds that you were prepping for your morning pot, please let us know, and we’ll refund you a few bucks or send you some extra beans next time around. You can also minimize your risk by grinding your coffee in multiple smaller doses, instead of one larger one. And don’t worry about drinking it. It’s harmless. It just makes the coffee earthy and vegetal.

  • Producer: smallholder farmers
  • Location: Mahanga district, southern province
  • Elevation: 1800-2000 MASL
  • Varietal: red bourbon
  • Process: washed, raised bed dried