*NEW* Huye Mountain - Sparkling water process decaf (Rwanda) Coffee 250gSteampunk Coffee Roasters
Our packaging is now 100% plastic free. We also offer a minimal packaging option (which you can select when you select grind), this will be sent out in the plant based cellophane bag only. Choosing this option saves you 20p and saves the unnecessary use of a box.
Tasting notes: Cocoa & toasted marshmallow
Region: Huye District, Southern Rwanda
Altitude: 1600 - 2300 masl
Varietal: Red Bourbon
This washing station has been made famous in recent years since it was a focal point in the docu- mentary 'A Film about Coffee'. It is located on the slopes of the Huye Mountain in the Huye District in South Rwanda and was established in 2011. It is a private washing station owned by David Rubanzangabo who is something of a philanthropist. He cares deeply about the smallholder farmers who deliver their coffee to his station, of which there are around 1,330. His drive for quality has brought about a big increase in prices for local farmers. Confirming the high levels of quality that they are producing, is their success in the Cup of Excellence: 2nd place in 2012, and 6th and 11th in 2013 with two competing lots. To encourage consistency of quality, David awards members whose coffees carry the highest cupping scores with the prize of a cow (40 members each won one) or a goat (60 winners last year). A cow makes a huge difference to the lives of a family since it will provide milk for around 6 years and a constant supply of organic fertilizer for the coffee trees.
Typically, a small holding in the district is just a quarter of a hectare in size, with around 200 trees. The yield is about 4kg of cherry per tree, so each farm only produces roughly 2 bags of coffee. It is entirely bourbon, which, coupled with an altitude ranging from 1,600 to 2,300 metres above sea level, brings about lots of complexity and great flavours in the cup.Harvesting normally takes place between February and June with shipments from July to August. The processing is based on washing the coffee with a set up that is typical throughout East Africa; namely. The freshly delivered coffee is inspected to ensure only good red and ripe cherries are included. Then it is put into the receiving tank where inferior floaters are removed. The denser, high quality cherries are then pulped in a locally made disc pulper before entering a concrete fermentation tank where they are held for 12 to 15 hours. It is a dry fermentation process meaning that extra water is not added. After this the mucilage is loose enough to be washed away and the tank is then filled with water and the coffee turned with a large wooden paddle before being drained. This process is repeated a further 4 times to ensure the coffee is clean before being channelled through water (and further floaters removed) and is then transported to raised beds for drying. Initial drainage drying is under shade as the coffee could be damaged at this point if it is exposed to too much heat. Then it is taken to the drying tables in the sunshine where an army of colourfully clad women sort the beans by hand, removing defects and turning it regularly. This can take between 15 to 20 days.
WATER DECAFFEINATION PROCESS
This process was first discovered by a scientist called Kurt Zosel at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research in 1967 as he was looking at new ways of separating mixtures of substances. In 1988, a German decaffeination company called CR3 developed this process for decaffeination whereby natural carbon dioxide (which comes from prehistoric underground lakes) is combined with water to create ‘sub-critical’ conditions which creates a highly solvent substance for caffeine in coffee. It is a gentle, natural and organically certified process and the good caffeine selectivity of the carbon dioxide guarantees a high retention level of other coffee components which contrib- ute to taste and aroma.The process is outlined below:
1. The green beans enter a ‘pre-treatment’ vessel where they are cleaned and moistened with water before being brought into contact with pressurised liquid carbon dioxide. When the green coffee beans absorb the water, they expand and the pores are opened resulting in the caffeine molecules becoming mobile.
2. After the water has been added, the beans are then brought into contact with the pressurised liquid carbon dioxide which combines with the water to essentially form sparkling water. The carbon dioxide circulates through the beans and acts like a magnet, drawing out the mobile caf- feine molecules.
3. The sparkling water then enters an evaporator which precipitates the caffeine rich carbon diox- ide out of the water. The now caffeine free water is pumped back into the vessel for a new cycle.
4. This cycle is repeated until the required residual caffeine level is reached. Once this has hap- pened, the circulation of carbon dioxide is stopped and the green beans are discharged into a drier.
5. The decaffeinated coffee is then gently dried until it reaches its original moisture content, after which it is ready for roasting.
Cadefhuila is a Cooperative working in the North, South and Western Huila. They were founded in 1963, and have thousands of producers with between 1-3 hectares of coffee. Many have great potential, but they need help and support to get the quality up to the level required for this market.
Coffees are picked in 3-4 passes. Meaning the producers/workers pick more or less ripe cherries in one block. Then they must wait a few weeks until there are once again a decent amount of ripe cherries to pick in that same place. Generally the first and last pass is of lower quality.
The coffee from Huila is generally fully washed, meaning pulped and fermented the tradition way. There is a few exceptions where farmers are using eco-pulpers with mechanical removal of mucilage, and/or are doing honeys, but it's still not too common.
This is the most common and widely used method. The farmer will have a small beneficio, a small manual or electric pulper and a fermentation tank. They pulp the cherries in the afternoon. The coffees are going straight from the pulper in to the fermentation tank. It can sit there from one to two days, depending on the temperature. Higher temperature will speed up the fermentation process, and lower temperature will slow it down. Some producers do intermediate rinsing with water, that can also help them control the process.
Washing and Grading
They normally stir the coffees in tanks or small channels before they remove floaters. For the ones without channels it's common to wash the coffees in the fermentation tanks and skim off the floaters before it goes to the drying.
For the smallholders in regions like Huila the coffees are commonly sun dried in parabolic dryers that almost work as green houses. The better producers have well ventilated facilities. There are many different variations and constructions, but generally they are all systems that are able to protect the coffee from rain. We have generally seen that the producers that have constructions with good ventilation and manage to dry the coffee to below 11% in 18 days often have very good and consistent coffees. Drying in Huila is a big challenge due to rain and high humidity. During drying the producers hand sort the parchment coffee for impurities and defects. By receiving premium payments, the producers can improve their facilities, by building new or reconstruct the dryers to increase ventilation and potentially add shade nets to slower drying, and hence improve the quality and longevity of the coffee.