Rwanda Trading Company
Read our interview with Gardelli
|Watermelon slices. Maraschino liqueur. Cardamom.
|View the brew guide for Muhura
We’re excited to bring you Muhura, a brilliant and unusual naturally processed Rwandan coffee roasted by Gardelli in Forlì, Italy.
Over a century ago, Red Bourbon cherries from the island of Réunion found their way to Rwanda; wild coffee trees now proliferate through the country's northern provinces, yielding small amounts of exquisite coffee cherry.
This delicate coffee was handpicked summer of last year in lush Mount Kabuye, home to thousands of species of flora and fauna. The washing station of Muhura is run by the Rwanda Trading Company, which has been growing coffee in its seventh year now; experienced producers dry the coffee on raised beds after 30 days of careful watch, using a natural process to illuminate its terroir-driven flavors. This natural processing is both labor intensive and time consuming—not to mention, a bold experiment in a country where such a difficult undertaking is often discouraged.
Muhura earned a cup score of 90 points from the Specialty Coffee Association of America, clear evidence of its outstanding provenance. In addition, this special coffee represents Gardelli's only limited edition release this season.
Muhura is roasted by Rubens Gardelli—a four-time Italian roasting champion, two-time Italian brewer’s cup winner, and runner-up at the World Brewer’s Cup championship. Gardelli chooses to work only with exceptionally high scoring coffees and rare microlots, and each batch is personally roasted by Rubens himself on a drum machine. This drum machine was completely self-fashioned by Rubens and customized to control heat transfer while seamlessly controlling airflow. A perfectionist by any standard, Rubens works tirelessly to maintain consistent quality and optimum roast profile.
From its aromatics to its aftertaste, each aspect of Muhura embodies an experience of sweetness. Upon first whiff, the coffee smells like spices on dark fruit: think of figs and plums poaching in wine with generous sprinklings of freshly ground cardamom and cassia on top.
In the mouth, Muhura has a delicate body, like the juice of an overripe plum. Its sweetness is more crisp and refined, cleansing the palate with notes of watermelon and orange peel. As the coffee cools, the watermelon and citrus become candied, and the coffee’s sweetness and brightness intensify. Muhura’s aftertaste is its most unusual characteristic—it has a retronasal finish of maraschino liqueur.
This coffee is perhaps the most complex Rwandan coffee we’ve had the pleasure of enjoying. Naturally processed coffees can taste muddy and funky, but Muhura has distinct, transparent flavors, a testament to its meticulous processing and roasting. Consider using a Chemex to explore the full range of Muhura’s flavors and add your brew water more quickly than usual to capture more of Muhura’s aromatics.