Musaza - Anaerobic Natural
MEET THE PRODUCER | In the native dialect of Kinyarwanda, Warakoze Musaza literally translates to, "Thank you, old man." English doesn't do us many favors here, because although the term Musaza is directly translated as "old man," it carries a much stronger sense of honor and respect in the original language. Warakoze Musaza is also the name given to a special group of seven elderly farmers in the Nyamasheke district of Rwanda, and they are the sun-leathered hands behind the Red Bourbon lot we're sharing with you today! These farmers have been growing coffee for their entire lives, and they've seen the landscape of coffee production in Rwanda change drastically over the years. Throughout all of the changes and turmoil, these producers have remained steadfast. Through a partnership with Baho Coffee and Emmanuel Rusatira, the Warakoze Musaza group was created as a means of supporting these storied coffee producers, helping them continue to grow coffee, paying for their health care, and offering higher prices for their harvest.
TRUST THE PROCESS | First, whole cherries are hand-sorted to remove less ripe and defective pieces. A slew of floating follows next, removing any floaters and keeping only the highest-density beans. The "sinkers" that remain are then packed tightly into sealed plastic tanks and, in the case of this lot in particular, left to ferment for about 100 hours. Finally, the cherries are removed to raised beds for drying - and that takes a loooonnngggg time at the Ngoma Washing Station. Moisture content is constantly monitored and changes are made to further extend the drying time at each 5% decrease. This lot spent a total of 55 days drying before it reached the desired 10-11% moisture content.
It is worth noting here that Emmanuel refers to this style of processing specifically as "low oxygen fermentation." The goal here is to promote an environment that is not necessarily 100% free of oxygen, but wherein the coffee cherries have very limited interaction with the oxygen that is present.
TAKE A SIP | As far an anaerobic naturals go, this one is pretty darn approachable. So approachable, in fact, it borders on bonafide nostalgia - think brown-bagged lunches in elementary school. It's simple and easy-going, and we think it's going to take a lot of you by surprise! Every note of this coffee is influenced by its sweetness: fruits like concord grape (jelly), a pleasant nuttiness that reminds us of honey-roasted almonds, and even a baked goods component, like pastry. If you've read through all that and haven't started craving a PB&J yet, well... we didn't explain it very well.
Origin | Bushekeri, Nyamasheke, Rwanda
Producers | 7 smallholders within Warakoze Musaza group
Washing station owner | Emmanuel Rusatira
Washing Station | Ngoma Washing Station
Process | Anaerobic Natural
Variety | Red Bourbon
Elevation | 1600-1900 masl