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This coffee is from Bweremana, north Lake Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The village lies at the foot of a string of volcanoes that act as a border betwen Congo and neighboring Rwanda. This area has seen continuous conflict for the better part of two decades, and coffee acts as a major agricultural tool to help with the rebuilding of community by aiding with much needed economic stability. Tufadike Cooperative currently has 283 member, each with about a hectare of land devoted to coffee. Small processing stations are scattered throughout the area, groups of about 10 - 20 families sharing a single hand-pulper and washing tanks, and they hope to use this year's profit to buy a large Penagos pulping machine for the coming harvest. The cooperative provides agronomical assistance and training to members, and has helped with the export of the member's coffee for the first time this year (this lot is part of this initial group of exported coffees). The farms are planted in Bourbon, and range in altitude from about 1500 meters to 1900 meters. We're impressed by the dry-milling of this coffee, not seeing too many physical defects, and screen size uniformity. These attributes along with a fairly dense bean make for nice, even roasts.
This coffee excels in the City+ to Full City+ roasts, flavors spanning a range of tart fruits to the rustic sweetness of sorghum syrup. The dry fragrance has a wine-like grape smell at City+ that is front and center, with underlying molasses syrup sweetness, and hints of 5-spice and hickory chips. The wet aroma is a complex mix of fruit and raw sugar smells, like a berry-rum compote without the alcohol edginess. The aromatic wood aspect sensed in aroma translates in the cup as fresh cut wood, and nearly obfuscated by a tart blackberry juice flavor as the cup temperature cools. It's such a sweet coffee, middle roasts like unrefined molasses sugars, and Full City on the side of Sorghum. The latter roasts are incredibly sweet and with inky body too. Flavors of roasted cacao come through, as well as wonderful grape-to-blackberry fruited tones. An overall complex cup character that will appeal to those who enjoy Kenya-like fruit tones and Sumatra-like character, but with mild acidity and the clarity of a washed coffee.