Today’s review is a Rwandan coffee, Kivu Kibuye, roasted by Royal Mile Coffee Roasters. Jamie Blanchard, roaster and co-owner of the company, sent me a nice box of samples and I’ve been enjoying working my way through them. This Rwandan coffee is no exception! You can buy this coffee directly from Royal Mile for $15/12oz. bag. One of my dogs, Rickety Cricket, jumped up on the counter and chewed on the bag while I was out of the house, so no photos of the little sample bag Jamie sent this coffee in. Instead, how about a photo of Lake Kivu (and a link to a nice article about travel to Rwanda), where this coffee was grown?
This coffee actually comes from a private washing station, Gitesi, in the Kibuye valley near Lake Kivu. Gitesi takes in coffee from almost 2,000 farmers in the area and their bourbon coffee trees are planted from 1740-2000masl. Gitesi sorts and separates lots and produces consistently good coffee for the specialty market. The washing station even won a Cup of Excellence award in the past!
This is another coffee I enjoyed drinking but don’t have tons to write about. It had a medium body and a nice balance between sweetness and acidity. The acidity was apparent, but not harsh in any way, and according to Jamie, he took the roast further with this coffee than he usually does with Rwandan coffees to encourage more body and sweetness in the cup. It worked! While this cup was certainly balanced, it had a decent high end, so I imagine it could be downright bracing if roasted much lighter.
The acidity in this coffee was definitely citrus for me, landing somewhere between sweet lemon and orange, but leaning more toward lemony. It was a nice contrast to the sugary notes in the coffee. It opened up well as it cooled and it was a pleasure to drink, and that’s about all I need to say about it, I think! Jamie did a great job with the roasting on this one and I think he made a good choice because the cup had a nice mix of high and low notes in it. Well done!