February 2022 - Rwanda - 800 Farms 1 Great Coffee

February 2022’s Coffee Origin - Rwanda - Karongi District

As we feature more coffees from Cooperatives,  I am more convinced that they are a great idea. I once asked an 8 year old to define "cooperation". Without missing a beat they stated, "cooperation is people working together to do more". To this day, that is the most concise definition and exactly what I've come to expect from successful Coffee Cooperatives.

This month's coffee selection is from a Coffee Cooperative located in the Karongi District of Western Rwanda. Situated on the Karongi Hills, stretching down as far as Lake Kivu, this Co-op's farms span great elevations with ideal rainfall and access to addition fresh water. As with previous origins we've Cupped, high altitude, cool temperatures, and reliable rainfall, promote slowly matured cherries. These slow grown cherries result in high quality, uniformly sized and distinctly flavoured coffees. 

Cooperation Makes All the Difference
Starting over a decade ago, this month's origin has grown to a Cooperative of over 800 small farmers known as the Koperative Kopakaki Dutegure. This cooperative of farmers in turn joined a processing and distribution Cooperative, Misozi, made up of 4 additional farming co-ops. The amalgamation allows these farms to increase quality, consistency and output, improving the lives of the community members.

The Sum is Greater Than the Parts
Through combining resources and experience, Kopakaki is able to produce some of the highest quality coffees in the region. Further, the range of elevations among the farms allow for two harvest periods (one from June to September and the second from August to November) creating a steady flow of work as well as coffees to bring to market. The Co-op aims towards a gender balanced workforce and has achieved Fair Trade and Organic Certifications, bringing a premium to the members and transparency among the farmers. 

Kopakaki has helped provide access to electricity and water and is known to help rebuild their surrounding community following sever weather. They have improved health insurance and education for their members and overall appear to have a net positive impact on the land and their people. I think I can fairly say that the 8 year old's definition of "cooperation" holds up nicely ..."people working together to do more!" 

Region: Karongi District
Varietals: Bourbon
Growing Elevation: 5000 - 7800 feet
Soil: Sandy Clay
Process: Natural and Sun Dried
Certifications: Organic & Fair Trade
Flavour Profile and Notes: GO CUP YOURSELF and find out!

Roaster’s Notes:
After discussing the lovey dovey aspects of this coffee Co-op, it all comes down to one important question (for us at least): How does the coffee taste? 
We roasted this coffee several times to find the right balance of flavour and everyday drinkability. Originally we settled on a very light roast, offering our Cuppers a true representation of what we tasted when we chose this origin for our shop. It was very bright with a high acidity and fun to profile. Bagged and ready to go, we had a change of heart. Enjoying a cup of this origin in the morning (not for Cupping purposes) and leaning on previous feedback of light roasts, we decided to try a multi-roast. The roast you are going to enjoy is a blend of the light roast (20%) with a slightly darker medium roast (80%).  This should maintain the flavour profile but balance the cup for a better everyday drinking experience.

Cupping-wise, look for Citrus notes with a …wait a minute, if you want cupping notes Go Cup Yourself!

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Once you have finished Cupping, click on the “EXPERT TASTED” tab for our tasting notes. Can’t wait to compare notes.

As always, we'd love to hear from you. Better yet, tell the world what you think. If you've been enjoying the Go Cup Yourself experience, please take a moment to review us on FacebookGoogleYelp, Reddit, a bathroom stall door or anywhere you get your reviews.

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