Roaster Radio 1/14/14

January 14, 2014


This morning I’m drinking our Volkopi Lintong coffee, planning the day, and doing some research on a new Rwandan lot which just dropped in the Roast Works. This is the first Rwandan coffee that I have personally roasted, and the green coffee on from this lot is a beauty; low defect count, even screen size, and uniform color.


This coffee comes from the Nyamasheke district of the Western Province in Rwanda. We’re calling it Kivu Kanzu, Kanzu being the washing station and Kivu from Lake Kivu which is near the washing station. Kivu is also in reference to the Kivu Arabica Coffee Company, which has a huge hand in producing this coffee. Farmers in this area began to struggle to afford milling and processing around 2010. Farms in this area are very small often have only 1000-8000 coffee plants. Each plant on average produces about a pound to a pound and a half of green coffee in a production year, and farms of this size have a significant difficulty financing operations outside of the harvest season. The Kivu Arabica Coffee Company provided this financing, which let the farmers stop worrying and get back to farming. And it shows in the fact these farmers are now producing award winning coffees.


As a roaster it's easy to have this romantic idea of being able to go to a little farm to make a big difference, fly back with a pallet of coffee, and roast it while telling stories of how I helped mill the beans and eat a cherry off a tree. While I am looking forward to knocking that off my bucket list someday, I’m equally excited to work with importers and mills which contribute to a larger framework of sustainable practices around growing quality coffee and find coffees that are more beautiful that you can imagine. 


Now back to the warmth the roaster.