Even before your first sip, the ripe strawberry aromas are present, allowing for a true representation in taste. Expect a super silky and smooth mouth-feel, creating a lingering sweetness of dates, caramel and dark chocolate.
Rugali was the first washing station in Rwanda to legally produce a Natural processed coffee. The climate here is very ideal for Natural processing, as they'll see warm and dry daytime temperatures and cool night time temperatures. This shift from day to night really elongates the drying process, which we think helps define the crisp flavours and capture the sweetness.
We just finished our third visit to Rwanda and to Rugali. It's the largest mill we visited with an annual production of 550 metric tonnes of cherry, purchased from 1150 farmers in the surrounding area. These farmers are paid a premium per pound of cherry and are educated with the best harvesting and separation techniques. This is all with the hope that they'll show their loyalty to Rugali CWS in years to come and each of those years will see improvement through these more sophisticated learnings.
This year during our visit, we were impressed to see a brand new dry mill has been built at Rugali. This is a huge benefit for the team at Muraho - and a huge investment - that will lead to more efficient processing and higher control of quality. We're very excited for this development.
The elevation here is slightly lower than Kilimbi CWS, a short driving distance, or boat ride, bordering Lake Kivu. The team of 185 workers, including Radjab, the station manager, is very positive and driven toward the idea of making better quality coffees. They are inspired to work harder after seeing foreign buyers and understanding how their coffee will go far across the world. Part of the country mantra is "land of the thousand hills and a million smiles", and the team at Rugali, and across all of MTCo successfully demonstrated that.
The coffees are pulped on a Pinhalense machine from Brazil. The washed coffees here are fermented for approximately 12 hours and dried for about 30 days. The Honeys are dried for 35 and the Naturals for nearly 40 days. These long drying times are great for us as coffee roasters, because it ensures the freshness of the coffee will be more stable, thanks to a slow decrease in the moisture content of the coffee as it dries. Consistent climates are best for coffee processing, just like the climate here at Rugali.
Station Manager: Mvuyekure Radjab
Farmers: Small Producers
Micro-Mill: Rugali CWS
Build Date: April 2016
First Year Rosso Purchased: 2017
Region: Nyamasheke, South Western Region of Rwanda
Processing Techniques Purchased: Natural
Elevation: 1550 - 1800
Tasting Notes: Fresh Strawberry, Chocolate Truffle, Dates
Roasted For: Filter or Espresso