We first visited Rwanda in 2014 and over the last few years we've developed some very close relationships within the Rwandan coffee community. We first visited Liza washing station in May 2018 and have been buying coffee from them for two years.
For several years we have been working with producers in Rwanda on the creation of unique, exclusive natural processed microlots. This first started in Rwanda in 2016. We knew that some farmers and washing stations in Burundi were producing honey and natural processed lots but this didn't seem to be common in Rwanda. We proposed the idea to two of the co-operatives we were working with and both were keen to try some small experimental microlots. The first years tests were small, just 120kg of each trial process. Although the honey and washed experimental lots were very good, the ones that stood out were the thick and thin natural. The idea behind this was to vary the levels of fermentation and the influence that the drying process would have on the coffee. The thick layer natural is produced using ripe cherry that has been carefully hand sorted to remove defects and under ripe beans. The cherry is then laid out to dry on raised drying tables in a layer about 3-4cm deep. This means the cherry takes longer to dry than it did with our previous thin natural. The slower drying time induces a bit more fermentation and rich, deeper fruit notes.
Liza is owned by coffee farmer Jean Paul. The washing station processes coffee from his farm in addition to coffee from several hundred local farms in the area. Coffee cherry is delivered daily during the harvest season from February to June and processed on the same day. They produce mainly washed coffee. The thick natural microlot produced by Liza this year is a stunning coffee. It's bright, clean and very juicy but with a rich body and juicy fruit notes. As a filter coffee you can expect notes of fruit liqueur, strawberry, orange and caramel.. On espresso the taste profile changes a bit adding rich dark chocolate and accentuating the boozy liqueur and juicy fruit notes. We absolutely love this coffee and I'm sure you will too!
In 2017 we funded a school repair project in the Rwanda Gishyita community. This year we are working on projects with a school local to Bwishaza and Liza washing stations.
This coffee works well with all filter brewers and espresso. For filter we recommend a 1 - 16 brew ratio, and for espresso a 1 - 2.2 brew ratio.
Example - Filter: 15g - 250ml // Espresso: 18g - 40g